Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jonas Mekas in Paris

Galerie du Jour agnés b.

Paris, France

A Few Things I Want To Share With You, My Paris Friends

May 16 – June 20, 2009

Jonas Mekas’ solo exhibition entitled A Few Things I Want To Share With You, My Paris Friends is currently on view at galerie du jour agnés b., Paris through June 20, 2009. Focusing on the dynamic scope of Mekas’ work from recent years, the presentation brings to light his innovations within avant-garde film and contemporary currents of the visual arts. Highlights include the premiere of a 12-monitor installation featuring the monumental 365-Day Project, for which Mekas released one film a day throughout 2007 on his website Designated to one month each, the monitors are hooked up to i-pods playing footage that was downloaded directly from the artist’s website. Mekas states, “It was a very challenging and demanding undertaking, but I did it. This is the first presentation of the Project as it was intended, that is, as an i-pod project.” The exhibition is accompanied by the 365-Day Project catalogue, produced in conjunction with Maya Stendhal Gallery, New York, which offers revealing profiles of each film through descriptions and stills. Mekas’ Summer Manifesto (2008) takes form in an installation of 40 nature images that Mekas chose from his vast archival footage. While manifestos tend to be politically charged and oppositional, Mekas’ statement finds comfort in the subtle beauty and fleeting happiness of summer. Also on view is an installation of 4 quartet pieces divided into parts entitled Destruction Quartet, SoHo Quartet, Martin Scorsese Shooting “The Departed,” and The Education of Sebastion. The work features riveting footage of renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese at work, the fall of the Berlin Wall and events from 9/11 in combination with images of old SoHo and the artist’s journey to Egypt. A Few Things I Want To Share With You, My Paris Friends is dedicated to the long-time friendship between Mekas and fashion designer and supporter of the arts agnés b.

A recent retrospective at Museum Ludwig in Cologne prolifically summarized Mekas’ accomplishments in establishing film as art. Viewers were given rare access to the artist’s personal archives in the form of documents, photographs, catalogues, texts, and film posters alongside his and later film works, installations, and film still collections. A great success, it drew nearly 100,00 visitors, and was followed by Museum Ludwig’s acquisition of the internegative and 4-channel installation of Birth of a Nation for its permanent collection. Mark Gloede of Art in America singled out the presentation for the magazine’s International Review issue writing, “[T]he exhibition achieved a striking dynamic: in the space between different mediums, it became clear that the film experience cannot be limited to watching movies in a dark room. With this overview of Mekas’s work, the full cosmos of independent cinema opened up.” A full-page color exhibition catalogue was published in collaboration with Serpentine Gallery, London and is available through Koenig Books. A second major retrospective on the artist will be exhibited at Serpentine Gallery, London in 2010.

1 comment:

Microcinema said...

It is too bad I couldn't make it to that event. It sounded wonderful, plus it was in Paris!

I work for Microcinema International. We curate, exhibit and distribute the moving image arts. Jonas Mekas is an artist from one of our labels. I recently created a Facebook Film Page for "Walden-Diaries, Notes and Sketches" by Jonas Mekas. Since you are a fan of Jonas Mekas, you will appreciate this experimental film. I have posted video clips from the film, photos, links and events, and I would appreciate it if you help me get the page "HAPPENING!"

“Walden – Diaries, Notes and Sketches” by Jonas Mekas is EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTED by Microcinema DVD. To order this DVD and/or other Microcinema titles, go to:

Synopsis: With Jonas Mekas, P. Adams Sitney, Tony Conrad, Stan Brakhage, Carl Th. Dreyer, Timothy Leary, Baba Ram Dass, Gregory Markopoulos, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Jerome Hill, Barbet Schroeder, Jack Smith, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, Velvet Underground,
Ken Jacobs, Hans Richter, Standish D. Lawder, Adolfas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, Jud Yalkut, Peter Kubelka, Michael Snow, Richard Foreman, John Lennon, Yoko Ono…

Poet and hero of the American counter-culture, Jonas Mekas, born in Lithuania in 1922, invented the diary form of film-making. Walden, his first completed diary film, an epic portrait of the New York avant-garde art scene of the 60s, is also a groundbreaking work of personal cinema.

Includes two DVDs, poster, and 150-page book with unpublished texts by 60 authors including the personalities appearing in the film.

SUBTITLED IN: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Lithuanian, and Japanese.

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