Yoko Ono – Wrapping Event
By Madeline Bocaro
“This is the wrapping event in Trafalgar Square.
This was daring then. Now, it may look tame”.
In Yoko’s mind, the art of wrapping represents protection and healing. Her Sky Piece for Jesus Christ dedicated to John Cage (whose initials are the same) an entire orchestra is wrapped in gauze. Her Indica gallery show (November 1966) included a gauze wrapped chair, Piece for Chair IV, performed in 1962 at Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo, echoing the work of Christo.
She also created a work called Heavily Bandaged Box, which was related to Disappearing Piece (an extension of Yoko’s Mend Pieces). Yoko presented Heavily Bandaged Box on the Mike Douglas television show in November 1973:
Over the years, Yoko has invited many audiences up on stage to wrap her own body.
The Trafalgar Square wrapping event in London (August 3, 1967) had political undertones. London police gave her permission to wrap a lion statue with drop-cloths because Yoko gave them the pretense that she was making a film. Her then husband Tony Cox photographed the event.
In 1967 Delia Derbyshire (known for the Doctor Who theme) created a soundtrack for the 20-minute film at Kaleidophon for Yoko Ono Productions.
Delia: I did a film soundtrack for Yoko Ono. While she slept on my floor.
Sonic Boom: That must have been 66-ish.
Delia: No, later than that. It would be ’67 or ’68. It was about the same time that she met John Lennon. Because when we were having our or… oh… orgy on the carpet. We had a… golly, my goodness! So yes, she did her Bottoms film. And we did the soundtrack for the shorter film, which was the wrapping of the lions in Trafalgar Square, which was a happening.
– The Surface
While it is rumored to exist, the soundtrack has not surfaced. The film was shown at the ICA in London in 2004 without a soundtrack.
Yoko’s book Grapefruit includes:
Bandage any part of your body.
If people ask about it, make a story
If people do not ask about it, draw
their attention to it and tell.
If people forget about it, remind
them of it and keep telling.
Do not talk about anything else.
Yoko’s Indica gallery show, Unfinished Paintings and Objects (November 1966) included Wrapped Chair, a wooden chair heavily wrapped in gauze.
In May 2013, Yoko appeared on the Jonathan Ross show and performed Wrapping Event by bandaging the host. He questioned what this was all about. Yoko’s reply:
“The intention is to make sure that you feel peaceful.” She added, “I’m like a nurse you know – I’m used to people with bandages – on a mental level.”
Watch Sky Piece for Jesus Christ @ Yoko Ono’s Meltdown, London June 2013 by the South Bank Sinfonia. Yoko introduces the piece…