Almost 50 years after the first performance of Yoko Ono “cut piece” (1964), as a silent performance, it was performed again at the beginning of the Berlin Art Week (BAW2023). The “Neue Nationalgalerie” opened the art week somehow, in honour of her. The performance consists in the interaction with the audience inviting persons to approach her in front of the other spectators to cut a piece of her dress. They are allowed to keep the cutting and walk away with a little piece of her dress. In the 60s this was quite a big deal. Nowadays, after the fall of the wall and the wrap-up of the Reichstag by the Christo couple, we have become used to such kinds of take-home pieces and sharing in art work or historic moments. Hence, this was the chance for Berliners to add another valuable piece to their collection consisting of a piece of painted concrete from the Berlin wall as of 1989, Christo-foil in 1995 from the Reichstag and now the tissue from the live performance in honor of Yoko Ono.
The participation in the art performance invites several interesting approaches.
First the artist exposes herself in an extremely vulnerable fashion. The scissors in front of her make for a weapon in the hands of an aggressive person. Therefore, the number of security guards was beyond the scope of a normal protection of art hanging on the wall or sculptures exposed. In the background of the performance is the exposition of work from Isa Genzken which has been much less of a security risk. Her super-size rose in front of the gallery is accessible night and day. Some of the images taken have a somewhat blurred, more distant view on some pieces of Genzken’s work as well. The entry hall of the Neue Nationalgalerie allows a fabulous transparency of art and invites persons passing-by to attend spontaneously the performance as well.
(Images and videos taken on 2023-9-12, Berlin). Video Clip here.