Yoko Ono

news: SUMMER/AUTUMN 2013



place your bets, watch your step. i'm a bad dancer with no regrets

arrow Bad Dancer is from her latest brilliant record Take Me To The Land of Hell

Yoko Ono Reykjavik 2013
Photo News of Iceland

imagine peace tower lit again and yoko ono made honorary citizen of reykjavík

Iceland Review Online (October 9th 2013): "Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr nominated artist Yoko Ono as Honorary Citizen of Reykjavík today at a special ceremony at Höfði. Ono is currently in Reykjavík for the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower. (--) "With the title, Reykjavík City Council wants to thank Ono for her "extremely valuable contribution to Reykjavík and for her lifelong work as an advocate for world peace and human rights and for choosing Reykjavík as a platform from which to spread her message," as stated in a press release. "Yoko's contribution to peace and human rights issues in the world is unique. Imagine Peace Tower has been immensely valuable for Reykjavík," Jón said."

"Ono said it was an honor to receive the award. "It is indeed a great honor. John and I believed in Nutopia, which would make all of us citizens of the world. But inside the world, there is a land of our hearts that is shining with warmth, truth and beauty, called Iceland. Each time I visit the land, I am reminded of what is essential and therefore most important in life," she said."

yoko ono rocks "late show" with plastic ono band and the flaming lips

Today.com (October 3rd 2013): "Ono and her Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, featuring her son Sean Lennon, have a new album called "Take Me to the Land of Hell." "Oh my goodness, what a trip that would be," Letterman said, perhaps not knowing just how trippy even the next four minutes were about to be. Wearing sunglasses and a fedora tilted atop her head, Ono delivered a rousing version of the band's song "Cheshire Cat Cry." Most of it consisted of a lot of howling and shouts of "stop the violence" and "stop all wars." It's worth listening to the studio version."


taubman museum of art features exhibition yoko ono imagine peace
From the exhibition press release: "A simple message, delivered on billboards, posters, postcards, badges, T-shirts and rubber stamps, Imagine Peace exists as a seed, activated individually and collectively in the minds and actions of those who encounter it. Like much of Yoko Ono's artwork over the past forty years, Imagine Peace is a work that is dependent upon a collective realization on the part of her audience. As she declared in 1972 single, Now or Never, " A dream you dream alone is only a dream, but a dream we dream together is reality." As is often the case with her work, this germinating idea is manifested in multiple variations.

The exhibition focuses on the thematic ideals of peace and love. The exhibit presents the work of Yoko Ono and John Lennon chronologically as solo artists and as a couple in the 1960s, as well as a selection of Ono's recent solo works.

Showcased are interactive works by Ono that demonstrate her long-standing practice of involving individuals in the process of achieving peace through the power of imagination. The exhibit also includes installations that are designed to help visitors spread the message of love and peace worldwide through the use of rubber stamps, postcards, flashlights, and buttons."


Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore
Photo © Sari Gurney / AIU 2013

photos from the helsinki gigs: yoko ono and thurston moore
I was very happy to be in the audience of both Helsinki gigs by Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore (Helsingin Juhlaviikot, August 18th and 19th 2013). Shows were identically constructed beginning with two short documentaries about Yoko Ono's life and work, and then continuing with the show with Ono's films on view in the background (Bottoms (Film No 4), Match, Freedom). I personally enjoyed the entire show immensely and I felt they represented what I most love about Yoko's work and music: a huge surge of energy, real freedom of expression, empowerment, and frankly, really amazingly good rock n roll / noise / alternative music. Listening to her perform my very own favourite "Why" live made me want to jump around in my chair and just explode with emotion and joy. Thurston's guitar and Yoko's voice with the sensitive improvisational drumming was simply a spectacular combination in action.

Tomi Leppänen, a great Finnish drummer, was invited to play with Yoko and Thurston during the Helsinki gigs.

As I rather expected the Finnish mainstream press had very contradicting views on the shows: some of the press reaction was positive but some reduced their view on Yoko Ono's performance as mere "screaming". When people are viewing avantgarde and alternative work from the vantage point of mainstream, the clash of the different cultural viewpoints is often unavoidable. I have been relishing the Finnish online discussion about the two shows because I think many people were positively surprised by what they actually saw and heard during the shows.

The setlist (the order differed slightly each night):

It Happened
Will I
Thurston Moore solo: Schizophrenia (Sonic Youth: Sister) and Frank O'Hara Hit (Chelsea Light Moving)
Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)
Hugging Piece aka improvisation with two guitars

Yoko Ono at Huvila
Photo © Sari Gurney / AIU 2013

Yoko Ono at Huvila
Photo © Sari Gurney / AIU 2013


Manchester International Festival

do it manchester
Do It is a part of Manchester International Festival 2013 at Manchester Art Gallery. Yoko Ono's contribution is a piece titled Smile: "Circulate a picture of your smile to say, "Hello. How you doing?"

Ad in Yoko Ono Meltdown booklet

the yoko ono reissue project

Let's see what this mysterious ad by Secrectly Canadian and Chimera Music will mean... "Coming soon."



a new record coming in september: moonbeams the first single
The Guardian (June 13th 2013): " Moonbeams... opens with a two-minute monologue about Earth's creation, hinging on the line: "People are planets, their souls are suns, orbiting the dancefloor of a cosmic club." As the word dancefloor leaves her lips, the song's bassline starts to emerge through the fog and a full band suddenly kicks in, leading to some guttural, wordless yelps from Ono in the shape of a chorus. It's a brilliantly challenging listen from someone who seems to have made being brilliantly challenging her life's work.

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band's album "Take Me to the Land of Hell" will be released on Chimera Music on 16 September."


Take Me To The Land Of Hell


join ARISING and participate in yoko ono's new installation piece
Yoko Ono: "This is a call to women of all ages to participate in my latest crowdsourced art and awareness project, ARISING. For details go to www.imaginepowerarising.com and follow the instructions."

O Music Awards

vote for yoko ono for "digital genius award"
O Music Awards is running a contest for different music awards and Yoko Ono is a nominee in the Digital Genius award category. You can vote for Yoko on their website almost as many times as you like each day. However you need to sign in first via Facebook or Twitter to be able to vote for nominees. The winners will be announced on June 19th. Let's vote for her to the top!

Update: Yoko Ono won the award category.

Biennale of Lyon

yoko ono to take part in the 12th biennale de lyon in september
From the press release: "For the Biennale de Lyon 2013, curator Gunnar B. Kvaran has invited artists from all over the world who work in the narrative field and use art to experiment with the modalities and mechanisms of storytelling. The exhibition gives pride of place to the ingenuity and inventiveness of contemporary artists in undoing mainstream narrative codes and off-the-peg plotting devices in order to tell new stories differently."



yoko ono to perform live with thurston moore in helsinki, finland
From press release: "She comes to Huvila in her musician's guise bringing with her a truly unique art-rock experience. Sonic Youth singer and guitarist, and long-time Yoko Ono fan, Thurston Moore has always been partial to experimental soundscapes. Moore first joined forces with Yoko on last year's YOKOKIMTHURSTON, for which they teamed up with Sonic Youth's other power figure Kim Gordon. At Huvila, Moore's instantly recognisable guitar loops meet Yoko's eccentric vocal performance, creating an unprecedented aural adventure."

Tickets are still available for both nights in Helsinki (August 18th & 19th), please see the website for details.


Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore will also visit Transatlantyk Poznan International Film & Music Festival in Poland in August. There Yoko will receive the Transatlantyk Glocal Hero Award 2013 "in honor of her activism for world peace and her dedication to environmental and social issues".

Acorn 2013


a new book by yoko ono: acorn
OR Books will publish Acorn in June 2013. It is available in paperback, (pictured above), ebook and a signed collector's edition hardcover (pictured below) editions. 216 pages with 100 black-and-white line drawings by Yoko Ono.

Yoko Ono in the book introduction: "It's nearly 50 years ago that my book of conceptual instructions Grapefruit was first published. In these pages I'm picking up where I left off. After each day of sharing the instructions you should feel free to question, discuss and/or report what your mind tells you. I'm just planting the seeds. Have fun."

Press release: "In Acorn, renowned artist and political activist Yoko Ono offers intriguing, enchanting exercises to open our eyes on better ways of relating to ourselves, each other, and the planet we co-habit. Throughout the book are drawings by Yoko, many never before seen."


Acorn 2013 hardcover

Meltdown Yoko Ono

meltdown dates released

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band
Friday 14 June
Royal Festival Hall

Saturday 15 June
Royal Festival Hall

Cibo Matto
Saturday 15 June
Queen Elizabeth Hall

Immortal Technique
Sunday 16 June
Royal Festival Hall

Reggie Watts + Mac Lethal
Tuesday 18 June
Royal Festival Hall

Amadeus Leopold
Tuesday 18 June
Queen Elizabeth Hall

Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto
Wednesday 19 June
Royal Festival Hall

Thurston Moore
Wednesday 19 June
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall 

Iggy & The Stooges + Savages
Thursday 20 June
Royal Festival Hall

Body/Head ft. Ikue Mori + Mystical Weapons
Thursday 20 June
Queen Elizabeth Hall

Friday 21 June
Queen Elizabeth Hall

An Evening of Words and Music with Patti Smith
Friday 21 June
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall 

Marianne Faithfull and Bill Frisell
Saturday 22 June
Queen Elizabeth Hall

Boy George
Sunday 23 June
Queen Elizabeth Hall

Double Fantasy Live With Special Guests
John Lennon and Yoko Ono's final album performed live
Sunday 23 June
Royal Festival Hall

"Plus... Activism and the Future: Two weekends of debate, workshops, films and performance. Yoko Ono curates a special film programme at BFI including rare films by John and Yoko. Yoko Ono's Sky Piece to Jesus Christ ...and much more to be announced".



© Sari Gurney
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