Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono

A Thing Called Life

“The incredible changes that you go through, is life. Life is complex, confusing. The sky is very permanent, not changing.” Interview with artist Yoko Ono about how life and art are connected in her work, which she sees as a means for simplifying things.

Yoko Ono talks of her performance Sky Piece to Jesus Christ (1965), her interest in music, her use of her voice, as well as more generally about her ideas and working methods. “I just wanted to clear the air” she says of her screaming. She also talks of the relationship between body and mind, and how the body is a kind of material, you can work with. Her interest is mainly the spirit, or concept of things: “We’re all together in a thing called life. It’s really great. And it’s very interesting, because the wind is blowing, the weather, the temperature, or the light, and I’m suddenly standing in another country. Very real.”

Avant-garde artist Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933, but moved to New York when she was 18, later becoming one of the most important representatives of the fluxus movement. Yoko Ono, who was called "the most famous unknown artist in the world" by John Lennon, was actually a recognized artist when they met in 1966.

Yoko Ono was interviewed by Synne Rifberg at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

Camera: Klaus Elmer, Nicolaj Jungersen & Mathias Nyholm
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Colorgrade: Honey Biba Beckerlee
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden.

  • TAL R :

    Shortly before he turned fifty, we had the unique pleasure of spending six months with Danish artist Tal R, while he was in the process of making his grand series of nine enormous railcar-paintings, ‘Habakuk’. Watch the intimate and biographical film.

  • Jonathan Monk

    Show Me Your Phone

    British artist Jonathan Monk agreed to let us have a glimpse into his phone. Watch him as he shows us content ranging from photos of Starbucks cups with alternative names on them, to a video of a slightly bigger copy of his nose.

  • Mark Leckey

    This Strange Place In Between

    “Technology has put us in this strange place where we’re never fully present.” Experience Turner Prize-winning Mark Leckey in the midst of his absorbing installation, which is a replication of the ramps underneath his childhood bridge.

  • Jonas Gardell

    Outraged and Upset

    “We didn’t do anything because that was what life was like back then,” says Swedish author Jonas Gardell in this deeply moving interview about what homosexuals in Sweden had to endure during the prejudice surrounding the 1980s AIDS epidemic.

  • Peter Land

    Self-Portrait as a Homeless

    “It’s a little like rehearsing death to see oneself lying there like this.” Watch Danish artist Peter Land discuss his powerful surreal piece, which features a lifelike one-to-one cast of himself as a homeless wearing his own clothes.

  • Mette Winckelmann

    Woman to Woman

    ”You must evaluate whether the system you’re part of could be effectuated differently.” Meet artist Mette Winckelmann, who believes that abstract painting communicates deeper than language, and explore her visual take on gender politics.

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Adam Caruso

    Novelty is nonsense

    "The European city is one of the great human inventions!” Adam Caruso advocates building with a deep sense of history and tradition. Meet the architect behind the award-winning Tate Britain conversion and numerous Gagosian galleries.

  • Thomas Hirschhorn

    A World of Collage

    Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn juxtaposes pixelated images from the media. His works are not about technology, says the artist: “I try to give form to what I can’t accept: that someone else can decide for me what I should do, see or think.”

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    On Donald Trump

    Jonathan Safran Foer, star of American literature, offers interesting views on America’s new president and the consequences Trump will have on American culture. "The place for literature may be even more important than before," he says.

  • Dorte Mandrup

    Where Place Meets Sculpture

    Rising from the landscape in a place rich with materiality and history sits architect Dorte Mandrup’s new Wadden Sea Centre. Meet the renowned architect and see a building were “everything comes together.”