YOKO ONO | the YOKO ONO film festival 1996
The Projected Artists – Obiettivo: Roma programme continues with The Yoko Ono Film Festival, a retrospective of films, short films and videos by the Japanese-American artist Yoko Ono at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni.
The retrospective, previously shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and curated by the American Federation of Arts, presents Yoko Ono‘s entire filmography, from the Fluxus period in 1966 to her most recent output, from 1982. The retrospective runs alongside Smile Event, which sees work by the artist projected onto the facade of one of the Rome’s historic buildings in Piazza S. Apollinare, near Piazza Navona.
By virtue of their striking stylistic and formal innovations Yoko Ono‘s films hold a unique position in contemporary American independent cinema. Ono took part in the general attack on cinematic conventions in the 1960s, challenging the industry’s traditions and developing alternative models of production, distribution and screening of films.
In her film work Yoko Ono places herself outside of narrative convention and uses the camera like an eye, a tool for observation. She radically alters the ways in which the cinematic apparatus can be employed – whether it’s the camera, its film, the soundtrack or how a film is shot or shown.
Between 1996 and 1982 Ono produced 16 films, all of which will be screened in their original version (in 16 mm) over the course of the retrospective at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni. The artist’s early films – produced and distributed by George Maciunas as part of the Fluxus group’s activities – provocatively shifted both the authority of the camera and the traditionally passive position of the spectator, whereby the latter is called upon to play a more active role in their interaction with the film.
Yoko Ono‘s films relate to the songs, performances and objects she creates, insofar as they focus directly on the material at hand, in such a way as to stimulate the viewer’s perceptual attention.
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