“Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning” at MoMA, New York

By Last Updated: April 18, 2024Views: 41

“Joan Jonas: Good Night time Good Morning” is the artist’s most complete retrospective in america, spanning greater than 50 years of her outstanding profession. The exhibition includes a number of works produced from 1968 via the current, together with movies, drawings, pictures, and main installations and performances—a lot of which have been revisited and reconfigured by the artist on the event of this exhibition. “Joan Jonas: Good Night time Good Morning” additionally presents intensive corresponding archival supplies.

“Joan Jonas: Good Night time Good Morning” is organized by Ana Janevski, Curator, with Lilia Rocio Taboada and Gee Wesley, Curatorial Assistants, Division of Media and Efficiency. With because of Mitchell Herrmann, Mellon-Marron Analysis Consortium Fellow, and Molly Superfine, Brandon Eng, and Piper Marshall, former Mellon-Marron Analysis Consortium Fellows, Division of Media and Efficiency.

“It’s been thrilling to rethink previous and newer works as they relate in a brand new context. I’m very joyful to have the work on exhibition in New York, the place I’ve lived most of my life,” stated Jonas, who’s working intently with the curatorial crew.

“This extremely anticipated exhibition will give an summary of Jonas’s distinctive position as a trailblazing determine of video and efficiency and her enduring multimedia legacy for generations of youthful artists. It would hint the event of Jonas’s profession, from works made within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies exploring the confluence of expertise and ritual to more moderen ones coping with ecology and the panorama,” stated Janevski. “The exhibition additionally advances the Museum’s dedication to representing the work of key ladies artists whose practices have been deeply influential within the historical past of efficiency, media, and feminist artwork practices.”

Jonas started her profession as a sculptor, and it was not till attending workshops with choreographers from Judson Dance Theater within the late Nineteen Sixties that she would refocus her inventive observe on experimentation with efficiency and expertise. Organized chronologically, this retrospective highlights 4 main themes which are current all through Jonas’s multidisciplinary physique of labor: efficiency, expertise, literature, and ecology. The exhibition additionally foregrounds how Jonas makes use of her personal works as archival materials—with every venture constructing on those who preceded it—typically remodeling and restaging them into different mediums.

“Joan Jonas: Good Night time Good Morning” opens with a 16mm movie projection of Wind (1968), which introduces a lot of Jonas’s pursuits, comparable to performing for the digicam, the influence of pure phenomena, and the usage of mirrors as a way of manipulating and fragmenting area. These themes are tracked all through the course of the exhibition, significantly in early performances from the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s that had been set in New York Metropolis’s downtown lofts, piers, empty heaps, and public seashores and are highlighted within the first gallery. Within the picture documentations of Mirror Piece I (1969) and Mirror Piece II (1970), performers carrying mirrors in choreographed sequences, reflecting the viewers and incorporating them into the area of the motion. Jonas deployed the mirror as a viewing gadget, prop, and power for reflecting upon identification and self-perception.

The exhibition additionally outlines the artist’s use of newly out there expertise at first of the Nineteen Seventies, just like the Sony Portapak digicam used within the artist’s first video-performance, Natural Honey’s Visible Telepathy (1972). On this work, Jonas thought of the monitor as an ongoing mirror—her alter-ego Natural Honey’s efficiency for the digicam harnessed expertise’s skill to report and show content material in actual time. The retrospective presents a brand new model of the set up Natural Honey’s Visible Telepathy/Natural Honey’s Vertical Roll tailored to MoMA’s area, reinvigorating Jonas’s modern legacy within the fields of video, set up, efficiency, and feminist artwork.

Cross-media installations all through the retrospective present perception into Jonas’s distinctive working methodology, together with the artist’s multilayered translation course of from one medium to a different—from efficiency via video to set up. For instance, Mirage (1976/1994/2005/2019)—a piece in MoMA’s assortment, on view within the third gallery of the exhibition—started in 1976 as a efficiency at New York’s Anthology Movie Archives. There, Jonas used movie, video, drawing, and props to evoke rituals. In 1994, the artist reimagined the work as an set up consisting of sculptural components, chalkboard drawings, movies, and documentation of the unique efficiency—which she then reconfigured at MoMA in 2005 and 2019, and has revisited once more for this exhibition.

Because the late Nineteen Sixties, the artist has drawn inspiration from fables, historical myths, folklore, and poetry, which type the groundwork for necessary works like The Juniper Tree (1976/1994), on view within the subsequent gallery. A big-scale efficiency set up primarily based on the Brothers Grimm’s written model of the eponymous story, this work’s audio recording of the artist retelling the fairytale demonstrates Jonas’s curiosity in oral traditions and narratives instructed by ladies about their roles in society. The next gallery additionally options Volcano Saga (1987), wherein Jonas continues her curiosity in literature and reinterprets the Laxdaela Saga, a Thirteenth-century Icelandic folktale. Initially realized as a efficiency, the video model on view within the exhibition was realized in 1989 and options the actors Tilda Swinton and Ron Vawter.

The next gallery shows supplies displaying Jonas’s processes of working, gathering, and educating. A number of Jonas’s educating notes and video collaborations with college students are key examples of her essential position as an educator. This assortment of objects additionally spotlights the significance of efficiency props in Jonas’s works. Most of those objects had been purchased in an vintage retailer in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, the place the artist spent yearly summers and whose pure surroundings spurred her fascination with panorama and ecology, key themes within the exhibition and all through the artist’s physique of labor.

The exhibition additionally presents latest multimedia installations that handle environmental themes of ecological disaster, together with two works in MoMA’s assortment. The primary, Reanimation (2010/2012/2013), is one in all Jonas’s many collaborations with the jazz musician Jason Moran. The opposite, Shifting Off the Land II (2019), which is being proven for the primary time in america, was realized in shut collaboration with scientist David Gruber and pays tribute to the ocean and its creatures.

“Joan Jonas: Good Night time Good Morning” options two new works, together with a brand new fee by the artist knowledgeable by David Gruber’s newest analysis on the consciousness of whales, titled To Contact Sound (2024). The exhibition concludes with By a Thread within the Wind (2024), a sequence of newly made kites that, based on the artist, can be utilized “to evaluate distance, to sign, to hold hearth, to banish evil, for communication, to hold a toddler, to hold an grownup, to bear a message.”

at MoMA, New York
till July 6, 2024

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