WISH WE HAD: Yoko Ono's Touch Poems

 Yoko Ono. Touch Poem for Group of People. 1963.  Published in Grapefruit (Tokyo: Wunternaum Press, 1964), n.p. Offset, page: 5 7/16 × 5 7/16″ (13.8 × 13.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York

Yoko Ono. Touch Poem for Group of People. 1963.

Published in Grapefruit (Tokyo: Wunternaum Press, 1964), n.p. Offset, page: 5 7/16 × 5 7/16″ (13.8 × 13.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda. Remembering the impact of Yoko Ono's One Woman Show at the M.O.M.A. in 2015:

Yoko Ono: All my stuff was not really to do with body. Touch could've been very conceptual, too. But also, at the time, I really wanted people to touch each other physically because we never did that, you know, in those days, or even now. It's a pity. I mean, we're getting not closer, but more distant to each other.

And I just told people touch the first person you can touch – probably it's somebody who's next to you. And that was incredibly sensational at the time. Isn't that amazing? I don't force them to do something. So they can do it conceptually, too. Maybe that's a start and maybe a step into the future where it's all right to do it again.

Narrator: Take a moment to notice the lighting here. It borrows from the New York presentation of Ono’s Bag Piece performance in the 1960s.

Yoko Ono: The first one that I did, in New York, was to have a light that goes dim and light, dim and light. And so, when that's done, you see that, you know, you might have gone through seven days or seven years or whatever it is. In other words, it becomes dawn, day, and evening. And so you're not only seeing yourself in a totally different form, but that form is going through so many times and days and age.

What I was showing is what we are, and what we're doing that we don't know – that actually all we're doing is going through many, many days, which it becomes a week and a month and a year and eventually a whole life. And that's what you actually experience in the bag.

I. Touch Poem # 5. 1960  | II. A Box of Smile. 1984 |  III. Morning Piece. 1964–65 | IV. Painting to be Stepped On. 1960/1961 | V.  Grapefruit. 1964

 
hollie veltendo, DoComment