An Evening with Yoko Ono and Alexandra Munroe The Museum of Modern Art
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
As many of you know or have gathered from my scholarship on Yoko Ono, she is one of my dearest friends. Whether sitting around a kitchen table or in more canonized theatres, at this point in our relationship, the most valued time I spend with her are the conversations we have together.
I’m honored to have been invited by MoMA, as part of their ongoing exhibition Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971, to share an evening screening a few seminal films including Yoko’s feature-length film “Rape” (1969)(a collaboration with John Lennon), Film No. 4 (Bottoms) (1966; short version), and Takahiko iimura’s film, Ai (Love) (1962).
Afterwards, Yoko and I will reflect on these films, with Yoko’s characteristic insight, humor and compassion.
The annual Intelligence Squared debate, which takes place in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre concurrent with Art Basel Hong Kong, had a hot topic this year: Is or isn’t the art world a boys’ club? At the end of the well-attended Sunday afternoon debate, the audience ruled, by a very thin margin, that it is not.
Nevertheless, the audience was convinced by the “against” team, albeit narrowly. As the votes were being collected, Alexandra Munroe recalled that in 1989, when she organized a retrospective of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, the total market value for all 40 years of Kusama’s career was $20,000. Last year, Kusama was ranked second among women artists in terms of her market, which was valued at $190.4 million.
Munroe’s story presents a rosy picture of the difference 25 years can make in the career of a woman artist who is now 85 years old, but consider that $190.4 million is less than the total of Koons’ top six results at auction, and he’s only 60. If the art world is not a boys’ club today, that can only be good news for women, but it seems like a pretty safe bet that the work of feminism is not quite done.
Wang Jianwei, Shu Kewen, Philip Tinari and I will be participating in a screening and panel discussion of Wang Jianwei’s “The Morning Time Disappeared”. This will be the premiere screening in Mainland China.