welcome, yoko ono!
occasion: yoko ono's presence at the vienna poetry school. october 19, 2002

yoko ono is one of the greatest geniuses, scholars and - at the same time - revolutionaries in the history of world poetry. spanning from "grapefruit" (the "book of instructions and drawings") to the lyrics of her latest cd "blueprint for a sunrise" - her work touches, contains and transcends traditional poetic methods and genres like the stanza, the haiku, the ghazel as well as classic motives like love, longing, erotics or the human relation to basic elements of the material and spiritual universe.

words like cloud, water, mountain, moon, mirrow, thought relate easily to tape, tv, telephone, photography, rock hudson or doris day.

her work can be seen as an artistic variation of ludwig wittgenstein's philosophy of language which has been conceived only a century ago here in vienna. wittgenstein's principle "the meaning of a word, the meaning of a sentence depends on the way it is used" can be tracked all through yoko ono's pieces of language.

"war is over" written in a notebook becomes something completely different if it is published in a book or used as an advertisement at times square, new york, or spoken or wispered or shoutet at an anti-war-street-demonstration. "light a match and watch till it goes out" published in a poetrybook becomes something completely different when it is taken as a score or when you in fact light a match and watch till it goes out (while an unused grand piano stands aside your chair).

yoko ono's way of using language is close to the archaic greek poet sappho when sappho says "eros shook my mind like a mountain wind falling on oak trees" or to ezra pound when pound asks the poet to be aware of "luminous details".

yoko ono's revolutionary steps in the field of the art of language have been undertaken in the context of the fluxus movement (of which she is one of the pioneering personalities). also, the transliteral and interactive ambitions of post-war avantgardist groups like the "beats", the "poètes sonores" and the "viennese group" are relevant.

important representatives of these groups like allen ginsberg, anne waldman, ed sanders, henri chopin, h.c. artmann and gerhard rühm have been guests & teachers at the vienna poetry school. we are extremely happy and honoured to now welcome ms. yoko ono as our guest.

yoko ono will be present at the vienna poetry school, saturday, october 19, 4 pm. location: atelierhaus der akademie der bildenden künste, 1060 wien, lehargasse 6.
yoko ono will recite poetry and take questions from the audience. she will be assisted by mr. dane worthington and mr. lars schwander.
welcome in vienna, yoko ono!