Video: Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece ✂ From 1964

Yoko Ono was an explorer of conceptual art and performance art, before and during her marriage to John Lennon. A seminal performance work is Cut Piece, first performed in 1964 at the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo. It had one simple but destructive verb as its instruction: “Cut.” Ono executed the performance by walking to the center of a stage in her best garments and inviting the audience to cut off her clothing, casually sitting on the floor legs tucked underneath, and audience members would begin. Ono reprised the piece in Paris in 2003, in the low post-9/11 period between the US and France, saying she hoped to show that this is “a time where we need to trust each other. In 2013, Peaches reprised it at the multi-day Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre in London, which Ono curated.