“Cut Piece” was first performed in 1964 at the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo. Cut Piece had one destructive verb as its instruction: “Cut.” Ono executed the performance in Tokyo by walking on stage and casually kneeling on the floor in a draped garment. Audience members were requested to come on stage and begin cutting until she was naked. Cut Piece was one of Ono’s many opportunities to outwardly communicate her internal suffering through her art. Ono had originally been exposed to Jean-Paul Sartre’s theories of existentialism in college, and in order to appease her own human suffering, Ono enlisted her viewers to complete her works of art in order to complete her identity as well. Besides a commentary on identity, Cut Piece was a commentary on the need for social unity and love. It was also a piece that touched on issues of gender and sexism as well as the greater, universal affliction of human suffering and loneliness. Ono performed this piece again in London and other venues, garnering drastically different attention depending on the audience.
What would it take to ensnare a Williamsburg hipster? Not much, by the looks of it. Jeff Greenspan and Hunter Fine have set up a series of Hipster Traps in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with some sure-fire lures to entice even the most wary of LCD Soundsystem listeners. The bait? A Holga 120N camera, some fluoro sunglasses, a yellow bicycle chain, a can of PBR, and a pack of American Spirits.