My Mom and I went to the Museum of Modern Art to spend time together before I leave for my summer adventures. The MOMA is currently showing 125 of Yoko Ono’s projects in an exhibition called “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show”. The extensive collection of Yoko’s work includes performance art , drawings, paintings, sculptures, films, music, and sound. My favorite part of the exhibit was participating in the Bag Piece, which was when viewers are invited to remove their shoes and step inside a large, black, cloth sack. I jumped at the opportunity and got lost in the black fabric; stretching myself tall, then lowering myself down and rolling and twisting about on the floor of the MOMA. As I left the sack I received my first standing ovation.
Yoko Ono’s short film, called “Cut Piece”, questioned issues of gender, class, and cultural identity by inviting the audience in the film to take turns cutting pieces of her clothing. It was fascinating to see how the film escalates, from people cutting small pieces of of her clothing, and then bigger and bigger pieces. It was noticeably different when a woman cut the cloth than when a man was cutting.
When women held the scissors they were gentler, in contrast to when men were given the opportunity, they were more aggressive.
At the end, a young man comes up and cuts Yoko’s entire slip and bra off while smiling cynically to himself. Yoko Ono’s work pushes the viewer to think and question what we accept in society. This film was made in 1965 and was at the forefront of feminist performance art.
We ended our day at the Terrace 5 Cafe in the MOMA. The atmosphere is calming with an outdoor seating area that looks over the sculpture garden. I ordered the avocado and shrimp with bacon toast. My mother got a delicious carrot soup with pesto and fresh tomato. We rounded it off with a refreshing blood orange ice tea. The day was a perfect salute to summer.
MOMA 11 West 53rd Street
Open 10:30-5:30 and 8PM on Fridays
Children 16 & Under Free
Student Tickets Available