Yoko Ono
Born in 1933 in Tokyo (Japan).
Lives in New York (USA).
Two Virgins, 1968
Film, 20 min. © 1968/2016. Yoko Ono
Apotheosis, 1969
Film, 18 mm, 18:36 min. © 1969/2016. Yoko Ono
Collection of Yoko Ono
In 1966, after successfully establishing herself in the most radical form of modern art – performances, events and objects, Yoko Ono turned to film. Her first videos were created as a part of the "Fluxfilm" movement, whose coordinator was the legendary George Maciunas and whose highest authority was Jonas Mekas. Some time later, after she made what would become famed examples of experimental film ("Bottoms", "Fly" and others), she created a series of works dedicated to love between her and John Lennon. From these, "Two Virgins" and "Apotheosis" are the most metaphorical and complicated. The former mainly depicts the overlaying faces of Ono and Lennon and often a third layer is projected on them – leaves, water and the sky. The latter belongs to the most ingenious in the history of one-shot experimental films. Here the camera was placed in a hot air ballon: it glides along the figures of Ono and Lennon, higher and higher, into the sky above the trees, past snowy landscapes. Then it rises up into the clouds, for a few minutes the screen is completely white, and finally the camera surges above the clouds into the sunlight. Contrary to the obvious differences of the works they both contain the theme of an image of a couple dissolving in nature, an idea so important to the artist. In "Apotheosis", a later work, this motif is even more canonic and potent: Yoko and John are only a glimpse in the beginning that then diffuses into the universe. In effect, love is identified in the same category as the sublime: it brings the happiness of two melting into one, but only to then melt into the frightening vastness of the world. Two years after the creation of "Apotheosis" John Lennon tragically passed away. After this Yoko Ono never returned to experimental film.
artistic director of the project: Viktor Misiano
National Center for Contemporary Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
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