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Art History Honors - Lydia Etman: Research Paper

Research Paper Assignment

Honors Essay Assignment - Yoko Ono "Cut Piece"

Please read carefully to the end the following instructions. Give particular attention to the unique format required for your Works Cited page, because of your Honors requirements for this course.  Also, if you do not cite correctly in-text and matching/properly required and formatted Works Cited page, your essays receive a zero, so read on and pay super attention to the requirements below! 

First Honors Essay Assignment/Homework about Yoko Ono "Cut Piece" performance (corresponds to the second Honors Learning Objective on your syllabus):

1) Watch both the Yoko Ono ~ Cut Piece video from 1965 (9 min) and Yoko Ono "Cut Piece" 2003 video (1 min) and reflect on what this art piece is about in 1964 (you really need to think about how this performance affects the traditional way of art-making), and how things have changed in this 40 years time gap in society and Yoko Ono's life. In your opinion, do Yoko Ono's culture and ethnicity affect the results of the performances? 

2) After drawing your own conclusions as required in part 1, conduct research to help you understand further the videos and the questions raised above.

3) Write an essay to analyze how Ono's Japanese and American cultures affected her work in the 60s and the 21st century. I am not interested in reading a regurgitated version of online conclusions, but rather your own voice and interpretation of what you see and think. In that way, your paper will be unique and you will gain further trust in your own reasoning/critical thinking abilities.  

Your essay should:

  • Be 3 pages double spaced, regular font (size 10 -12)
  • Use proper MLA format (preferred style - check format at Purdue Online Writing Lab) or other academic writing style
  • Avoid plagiarism; properly cite any info you don't have before you start this class in 2 places: In-text AND your Works Cited page

Works Cited Page (WCP): list separately (but still in alphabetical order following MLA style) into primary, secondary, and/or possibly tertiary sources. 

~ Your WCP should look like this:

Works Cited

Primary Sources:

Then list your sources in alphabetical order (see MLA format) only the primary sources you used (of course both videos should be listed separately here since you watched them to discuss them) AND at least one primary source directly from the mouth of the artist, either quoted or paraphrased (the real primary source for our exercise).

Secondary Sources:

Then list your secondary sources in alphabetical order (note that the same source may be listed in your primary AND in your secondary sources if it is for example an article or writing with some quotes by the artist - 2 in one :-)

Tertiary Sources:

Then list your sources in alphabetical order (these are repositories of information without an author, such as a dictionary, encyclopedia, Wikipedia, etc.).

A few questions to get your thoughts going (not to be answered one by one in your essay):

  • How did Ono feel/act on this stage, and how would you feel and act if you were in her place?
  • How would you feel and act if you were a part of the audience today? What might be the causes of the different behaviors of both the artist and the audience in 1964 and 2003?
  • How do the context of Yoko's double culture (Japanese and US) and time frames affect the outcome of these performances?
  • What point does this performance make in US society at these times?
  • How might this performance have affected the course of art after 1964?
  • How does this performance qualify as art in your opinion, possibly calling on your new understanding of what art is?

My rules for a good research essay - so make it your own from your own deductions backed up by your research:

3 Rs to AVOID:  Repeat / Report / Regurgitate

3 Rs to DO:       Research / Reflect / Respond

Yoko Ono ~ Cut Piece video from 1965 (9 min)

Yoko Ono "Cut Piece" 2003 video (1 min)