YOKO ONO | the YOKO ONO film festival
In the context of VIDEOCITTÀ, STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI and 2RC Edizioni d’Arte are delighted to present: The Yoko Ono Film Festival, a retrospective of films and video art by Yoko Ono. Over 22 years after its first edition, made possible with support from the City of Rome and presented at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni as part of Projected Artists – Obiettivo: Roma, the film festival returns to the capital in an expanded format, entirely curated by the artist.
The Festival includes 14 works from the artist’s career, all produced between 1966 and 1982. This selection, previously presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1991, curated by the American Federation of Arts, is complemented with Painting to Shake Hands, ARISING and Bad Dancer, all created in a two-year period from 2012 to 2013. These pieces will take centre stage as part of a special event to be held at the Studio on 23 October.
The Yoko Ono Film Festival is the seventh project on which the artist and the Studio have worked together, following: A Piece of Sky (1993); Lighting Piece (1995); the aforementioned participation in Projected Artists in 1996; the screenings in Piazza del Popolo for New Year’s Eve in 1998; and finally, I’ll Be Back and SMILE at the MACRO Testaccio (2010).
Yoko Ono is one of the foremost exponents of Conceptual art; since the 1960s she has built her practice on multidisciplinarity, expressing herself through music, writing, painting, drawing and installation. The works presented are characterized by the variety of their formal approaches, and they reveal the numerous aspects of a multifaceted practice: a commitment to social issues, autobiographical material, political activism, musical performances, and feminism. Ono’s filmic output – itself a milestone in American avantgarde cinema – has always stood out by virtue of its radical conceptual stamp. The body plays a central role, both as an object within the point of view and as the bearer of a gaze – a tension created by the artist in order to make the viewer an active participant, one in dialogue with the images and in the construction of the work.
The Yoko Ono Film Festival is part of “Cinema 4.0,” a program of events taking place in galleries, cultural institutions, and contemporary art foundations promoted by VIDEOCITTÀ – created by Francesco Rutelli, ANICA’s President, is an event that will be spread around the Capital from 19th to 28th October, in conjunction with the Rome Cinema Festival and the MIA – Audiovisual International Market, promoting unity and dialogue between the creative and the productive worlds of moving images through the involvement of a large audience, offering a chance to these worlds to show their ability to create work, enhance the professionalism rooted in the Cinema and Audiovisual industries as well as give rise to new trades and entrepreneurial and creative ventures.
Read and download the exhibition’s press release.
YOKO ONO is an artist whose thought-provoking work challenges people’s understanding of art and the world around them. From the beginning of her career, she was a Conceptualist whose work encompassed performance, instructions, film, music, and writing.
Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933, and moved to New York in 1953, following her studies in philosophy in Japan. By the late 1950s, she had become part of New York Cityʼs vibrant avant-garde activities. In 1960, she opened her Chambers Street loft, where she and La Monte Young presented a series of radical performances and exhibited realizations of some of her early conceptual works.
In 1961, she had a one-person show of her Instruction Paintings at George Maciunas’ legendary AG Gallery in New York, and later that year, she performed a solo concert at Carnegie Recital Hall of revolutionary works involving movement, sound, and voice. In 1962, she returned to Tokyo, where, at the Sogetsu Art Center, she extended her New York performance and exhibited her Instructions for Paintings. In 1964, Ono performed Cut Piece in Kyoto and Tokyo, and published Grapefruit, a book of her collected conceptual instruction pieces. At the end of that year, she returned to New York. In 1965, she performed Cut Piece during her concert at Carnegie Recital Hall, Bag Piece during a solo event for the Perpetual Fluxus Festival, and she performed Sky Piece to Jesus Christ during the Fluxorchestra concert at Carnegie Recital Hall that September.
In 1966, she made the first version of Film No. 4 (Bottoms), and realized a collaborative installation The Stone, at the Judson Gallery. In the fall of 1966, she was invited to take part in the Destruction in Art Symposium in London, and later that year, held one-person exhibitions at the Indica Gallery, and the Lisson Gallery the following year. During this period, she also performed a number of concerts throughout England. In 1969, together with John Lennon, she realized Bed-In, and the worldwide War Is Over! (if you want it) campaign for peace. Yoko Ono travels annually to Iceland for the lighting of her IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, which she created in 2007 as a permanent installation on Viðey Island, Iceland. She continues to work tirelessly for peace with her IMAGINE PEACE campaign.
Today, Ono is widely recognized for her groundbreaking films and her radical music, recordings, concerts, as well as her performance art. Her films Fly, “RAPE”, Film No. 4 to name a few, are considered classics of 20th century film, and her music has finally been acknowledged as the genesis of much of the new wave of musical forms that have circled the world.
Ono has exhibited her work throughout the world, including major touring exhibitions, biennales and triennales. In 2009, she received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale. Her major exhibitions have included YES YOKO ONO (2000 – 2001), a traveling exhibition presented in the United States, Japan, Canada, and Korea organized by the Japan Society of New York, and YOKO ONO: HALF-A- WIND SHOW – A RETROSPECTIVE (2013) at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, Kunsthalle Krems in Austria, and the Guggenheim Bilbao. YOKO ONO: ONE WOMAN SHOW, 1960-1971 was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in May 2015. Also in 2015, Ono had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), FAURSCHOU FOUNDATION BEIJING, and opened a major retrospective, YOKO ONO: Lumière de L’aube at MAC Lyon in France. In 2016, Ono’s permanent installation, SKYLANDING, opened in Chicago’s Jackson Park, followed by a solo exhibition at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, Greece, in the same year.
In 2017, Ono presented her work YOKO ONO: Four Works for Washington and the world at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Prospect.4 in New Orleans, Tate Modern, and C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea, while her one-person exhibition, YOKO ONO: TRANSMISSION was hosted at Kunsthal in Charlottenborg. A new version of Ono’s work, ONOCHORD, was presented earlier this year at Henningsvaer Lighthouse in Lofoten, Norway. Currently, Double Fantasy – John & Yoko is on view at the Museum of Liverpool. Upcoming exhibitions in 2018 include those at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, and the Museum der bildenden Künste (MdbK) in Leipzig.
For a more complete artist profile, see the artist page.
more exhibitions by YOKO ONO with STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI.
more catalogues by YOKO ONO with STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI.