Question:what was the different between the original cut piece performance you did in ’65 versus the version you did in ’03?
Yoko:The difference was people were much more scared for me in 2003. Sean, who doesn’t come to my performances as much, flew all the way to Paris, and stood on the side of the audience to protect me. That was sweet.. and was one difference from 1965.
“It’s a brilliant, brilliant song by Courtney Love. The song represents all mothers of the world today: desperate, angry, totally sad, and also extremely intelligent. She’s an incredibly complex woman and she has incredible vulnerability as well.”—Yoko Ono on Courtney Love, and her favorite Hole song, Celebrity Skin. (via hole-lotta-love)
“Kurt loved Yoko Ono and he loved her work. Then I got around to listening to it and I thought she was quite brilliant. Bizarre but brilliant. She sticks with her own thing”—Courtney Love (via hole-lotta-love)
Trapped inside a haggard and taped-up videotape case is an account unseen from Yoko Ono’s 1971 exhibition. It is art unseen. Only the words scrawled on a piece of tape hint at what lies inside: Videofreex, Yoko, B/W 1/2, 30 MINS.
Videofreex, a group of nine ragtag artists in their 20s, exemplified the video art former Everson Director Jim Harithas introduced to the Everson during the 1970s. While living at a 60-acre farm in Lanesville, N.Y., the group traveled up and down the New York State Thruway practicing and teaching video art. During the time period, the group documented many exhibitions at the Everson, including the Ono exhibition.
The recently discovered video acts as the tangible thread connecting the past to the present.
"This is something that we have on our list and wanted transferred for the 40th anniversary," said Deb Ryan, the Everson Museum’s senior curator. “We want to show it, whether it is inside or outside.”
But what might be on the tape? Until Ryan and others find the equipment necessary to watch the film and digitally transfer it to DVD, what’s on the video is lost to history.
"It’s just a mystery to me," said Parry Teasdale, member of the Videofreex.
In Chicago, their 1,600 tapes sit in a climate-controlled room. When each roll of half-inch, A-V format Sony tape needs to be transferred, it must be baked in a closet-sized oven to remove mold from the brittle tapes. The same would need to be done with the Ono tape — the only one that has evaded Chicago for its original home, the Everson.
The Videofreex said the video is probably one of two things. Most likely, it’s the documentary-like video that Freex member Nancy Cain took part in. It could also be the very Ono-like video art piece Academy Award-winning filmmaker Shirley Clarke directed.
Looking forward to learning what it is when they learn. I wonder if Yoko’s seen it?
David Ross will always wax nostalgic about his first assignment at his first job out of Syracuse University. The harmony game was all too real. While his boss chatted with Yoko Ono, he met the Beatle of Beatles at the foot of his bed, grabbed a guitar off the wall and became Paul McCartney for a few golden minutes.
Jim Harithas, director of the Everson Museum of Art, gave the 20-year-old Ross the task of keeping John Lennon occupied when the two traveled to Manhattan in 1971 to execute Harithas’ master plan — convince Yoko Ono to bring her first American Fluxus art exhibit, “This Is Not Here,” to Syracuse.
"Jim is the most radical man to ever run an American museum," Ross said.
As a new director in a stunning 3-year-old art museum, Harithas was only interested in energizing the stagnant Everson Museum, and in turn, shaking the mundane city of Syracuse. His visions for this new building would change the Everson forever. And Harithas knew that to do so, Syracuse needed Ono.
"It was very sweet of him to take a chance on me," Ono said in an email. "This was my first one-woman museum show.”
The moments surrounding the avant-garde exhibition, which closed 40 years ago today, would let him claim an artistic and social stake in Syracuse. It was an event that produced a day unlike any Syracuse has ever bore, ideas unlike any the Everson had ever showcased and an approach to art that still greatly shapes the Everson and Syracuse today.
"Harithas is an activist who believes in revolution,” Ono said. “My show was a revolution!”