If collaborating with Yoko Ono has been a dream of yours ever since you watched Cut Piece in college, then here’s your chance. Last week, Ono put out a call for “testaments of harm done to you for being a woman,” on Facebook.
The full call—in all caps—reads:
WOMEN OF ALL AGES, FROM ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD: YOU ARE INVITED TO SEND A TESTAMENT OF HARM DONE TO YOU FOR BEING A WOMAN.
WRITE YOUR TESTAMENT IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE,
IN YOUR OWN WORDS, AND WRITE HOWEVER OPENLY YOU WISH. YOU MAY SIGN YOUR FIRST NAME IF YOU WISH, BUT DO NOT GIVE YOUR FULL NAME.
SEND A PHOTOGRAPH OF YOUR EYES.
The call is for an upcoming project title Arising that Ono will debut at the Reykjavik Art Museum in October. The Huffington Post notes that the “simplicity of this project is also its power,” which is a standard Ono approach to the issue of gender-based violence. It’s a theme that she’s returned to consistently throughout her career, sometimes to controversial results. In Cut Piece, a conceptual piece that she performed in 1965, is her most famous approach to the subject.
In the piece, Ono sat motionless and invited audience members to cut off pieces of her clothes. The performance—purposefully, and perhaps expectedly—degrades from a simplistic concept to violence as audience members enthusiastically cut her bra straps. While Cut Piece is hailed a definitive moment in feminist art, other works, like Ono’s film, Rape (1969) are a deeply disturbing approach to the topic of gender-based violence. In the film, a woman is doggedly pursued by a cameraman until she becomes increasingly upset (the woman, Eva Majlata, did not initially know that the pursuit was for Ono’s film).
So, while it’s unclear on which side of Ono’s approach to gender-based violence Arising will fall, it’s sure to be provocative.