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Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:50 PM

Happy 80th Birthday, Yoko Ono!

Last edited Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:19 AM - Edit history (2)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/172936/oh-yoko-ms-ono-80

Oh Yoko! Ms. Ono at 80

Jon Wiener on February 14, 2013 - 11:22 PM ET

(Photo by Tom Haller. Copyright Yoko Ono.)

February 18 is Yoko Ono’s 80th birthday—it’s a day to celebrate her art, music and activism. She’s done more in the last year than most of us do in a decade: campaigned against fracking and honored Julian Assange; mounted a major retrospective of her art in London last summer at the prestigious Serpentine Gallery, and another, bigger one in Frankfurt last week at the celebrated Kunsthalle Schirn; and made music with the Plastic Ono Band.

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She explained the problem with fracking concisely in The New York Times letters column in December: “Evidence shows that there is no amount of regulation that can make fracking safe.… 6 percent of the wells leak immediately and 60 percent leak over time, poisoning drinking water and putting the powerful greenhouse gas methane into our atmosphere… We need to develop truly clean energy, not dirty water created by fracking.”

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Earlier in 2012 Yoko honored Russia’s feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members are currently in jail after criticizing Vladimir Putin. She also paid tribute to Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while she was protesting the demolition of Palestinian homes.

Then there are the retrospectives of her career as an artist, a career which began before the Beatles and continues today, fifty years later. From the beginning she has mixed conceptual art and performance art. Her work has been playful and sometimes painful, and includes films as well as those “instructions” that require the viewer’s participation.

One of my favorite recent discoveries was a piece in the highly-regarded land art group show, “Ends of the Earth,” last year in LA at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I had never thought of Yoko doing work related to people like Robert Smithson of Spiral Jetty. But the land art show opened with Yoko’s Sky TV from 1966: an old TV set broadcasts a live feed, from a video camera on the roof, of the sky above the museum. It’s surprising and delightful, and “real” in way that’s different from everything else in the museum. It’s also a pioneering work of video art. (Sky TV is a permanent installation in New York City at the Asia Society.)

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Reply Happy 80th Birthday, Yoko Ono! (Original post)
Hissyspit Feb 2013 OP
onehandle Feb 2013 #1
VanillaRhapsody Feb 2013 #2
LeftInTX Feb 2013 #3
uppityperson Feb 2013 #4
Hissyspit Feb 2013 #5
otherone Feb 2013 #6
Tom Rinaldo Feb 2013 #7

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:53 PM

1. Yoko and Sean are in my twitter feed. Few dull days for them. nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:05 AM

2. Never really knew before now that she was older than John!

Interesting indeed.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:12 AM

3. OMG - She's the same age as my mom!

Who knew? I always thought she was in her 20s back in the 60s.

Happy birthday, Yoko!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:21 AM

4. No way. 80? My dog I am old.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:12 AM

5. Kick nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:19 AM

6. Happy Birthday!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:29 AM

7. I usually agree with where she is coming from, not always, but usually...

Regardless, I deeply respect her. You were a force before this phrase ever entered our language: Live long and prosper Yoko.

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