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Yoko Ono Show at The Everson Museum


1971 00:36:13 United StatesEnglishB&WMono4:3Video


Videofreex documentation from October 9th, 1971 of a crowd celebrating the opening of the Yoko Ono retrospective exhibition, This Is Not Here, at the Everson Musem of Art in Syracuse, NY.  The Videofreex document Yoko Ono’s plane landing and her getting on a bus to go to the exhibition at the Everson Museum. Once at the exhibition, we find a man inside bathing in a bathtub, who is then forced to exit by a museum official.

The Videofreex go outside into a courtyard to film the long line of museum patrons waiting to see Ono. Once inside the performance space, they walk around the atrium filming the crowd below as Andy Warhol Factory actress Holly Woodlawn attempts to throw them roses from the first floor. The tape concludes with George Maciunas yelling, storming away and driving off in his car.

"On this day, John Lennon's 31st birthday, a retrospective exhibition of artworks by Yoko Ono opened at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. The show looked back over ten years of her career, and was billed as "A show of unfinished paintings and sculpture." It ran until October 27th 1971. This Is Not Here had been commissioned in the week before Lennon and Ono left England. With less than a month to prepare, Ono invited her husband to participate as 'guest artist', and also asked friends in the art and music world for contributions. Guests for the opening night included Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen Starkey, Allen Klein, Phil Spector, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Frank Zappa, Spike Milligan, Jack Nicholson, Dick Cavett, John Cage and Dennis Hopper." --

VDB Videofreex

Videofreex, one of the first video collectives, was founded in 1969 by David Cort, Mary Curtis Ratcliff and Parry Teasdale, after David and Parry met each other, video cameras in hand, at the Woodstock Music Festival. Working out of a loft in lower Manhattan, the group's first major project was producing a live and tape TV presentation for the CBS network, The Now Show, for which they traveled the country, interviewing countercultural figures such as Abbie Hoffman and Black Panther leader Fred Hampton.

The group soon grew to ten full-time members--including Chuck Kennedy, Nancy Cain, Skip Blumberg, Davidson Gigliotti, Carol Vontobel, Bart Friedman and Ann Woodward--and produced tapes, installations and multimedia events. The Videofreex trained hundreds of makers in this brand new medium though the group's Media Bus project.

In 1971 the Freex moved to a 27-room, former boarding house called Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY, operating one of the earliest media centers. Their innovative programming ranged from artists' tapes and performances to behind-the-scenes coverage of national politics and alternate culture. They also covered their Catskill Mountain hamlet, and in early 1972 they launched the first pirate TV station, Lanesville TV. An exuberant experiment with two-way, interactive broadcasting, it used live phone-ins and stretched cameras to the highway, transmitting whatever the active minds of the Freex coupled with their early video gear could share with their rural viewers.

During the decade that the Freex were together, this pioneer video group amassed an archive of 1,500+ raw tapes and edits.

In 2001, the Video Data Bank began assembling this unique archive of original 1/2-inch open-reel videos, collecting them from basements and attics where the tapes were stored. A restoration plan was hammered out in 2007 and a distribution contract was signed between VDB and the newly formalized Videofreex Partnership (administered by Skip Blumberg).

The Videofreex Archive, now housed at VDB, chronicles the countercultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The  titles listed here are the first wave of an ongoing project to preserve and digitize important examples of this early video.

More About the Videofreex Archive Preservation

Also see:

Parry Teasdale: An Interview

Videofreex Official Website