Yoko Ono

cut piece in paris 2003


Theatre Le Ranelagh, Paris: September 15th 2003

Evening Standard (September 16th 2003): "Yoko Ono had high expectations for her oneoff art show in Paris. "Cut Piece is my hope for world peace," she declared. The 70-year-old poet, conceptual artist and widow of John Lennon, took to the stage last night to repeat one of her most famous performances. Ono cut a minimal, stylish figure as she emerged with her spiky hair swept back, in purple sunglasses, a flowing black skirt and a flimsy black top. She began with an even flimsier poem: "Never forget the sea/never forget love/never forget love". A few light touches helped prick the hippy pomposity. "I love you all," she told us, before adding "... for tonight!" She then held up a pair of scissors and announced: "Come on then!". First on stage was a tall American in a floral shirt, who cut clumsily, dropped the scissors loudly and then exited the wrong way."

"A touching moment was the sight of Sean Lennon removing a portion of his mother's skirt. A routine rhythm established itself. Claps and cheers rewarded more creative efforts, as when one woman cut a piece off her own dress and presented it to Ono."

Associated Press (September 16th 2003): "I was just here to say imagine world peace and to say I love you," Ono said after the show. "Let's create a peaceful world. I'm hoping these things will help."

"Following the political changes through the year after 9/11, I felt terribly vulnerable - like the most delicate wind could bring me tears," Ono wrote in a presentation for the show. "Cut Piece is my hope for world peace."

By allowing strangers to approach her with scissors, Ono said she hoped to show this is "a time where we need to trust each other." Spectators walked away saying the message was clear. "Scissors usually have a violent connotation but she turns it around to make it peaceful," said Katherine Williams, an 18-year-old Californian studying in Paris. "I think that's what she's saying - you can make peace out of violence."


More information

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Cut Piece

Cut Piece
Yoko Ono's Cut Piece in the 1960s

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