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Concerning ConsequencesStudies in Art, Destruction, and Trauma$
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Kristine Stiles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226774510

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226304403.001.0001

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Unbosoming Lennon: The Politics of Yoko Ono’s Experience (1992)1

Unbosoming Lennon: The Politics of Yoko Ono’s Experience (1992)1

(p.134) Unbosoming Lennon: The Politics of Yoko Ono’s Experience (1992)1
Concerning Consequences

Kristine Stiles

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes Yoko Ono's avant-garde performance work and how it helped nurture the architecture of LENONO, the neologism she and John Lennon coined for a record label. On the album Double Fantasy, recorded just before his murder in 1980, Lennon publicly avowed his difficulty in being able to “hardly express” that “woman...I'm forever in your debt.” In his unabashed and unembarrassed acknowledgment of woman, Lennon sang to Yoko Ono and in the process “unbosomed himself.” This chapter examines three aspects of LENONO: the biographical and artistic origins of Ono's art actions and her protofeminist concerns as they contributed to Lennon's entrance into the avant-garde; the ways in which the history of avant-garde performance helped Lennon to articulate his own male space for feminist practice; and the ways in which Ono and Lennon utilized live performed art to realize the activist potential of their union in popular culture beyond the insularity of the art world.

Keywords:   art, Yoko Ono, avant-garde, LENONO, John Lennon, protofeminism, popular culture

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