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Woman in the well joan jonas

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Jonas rose to prominence during the s as one of the first performance artists to incorporate video and film into her work. Here, we examine why Jonas deserves a place in the AnOther Woman hall of fame. In , she graduated with an MFA in Sculpture from Columbia University, becoming immersed in the downtown arts scene of the era. It was here that her extensive and groundbreaking experimentation with multimedia began. She has taught at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology since as Professor Emerita in the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology, representing the United States at the Venice Biennale, with her most recent work exploring the relationship between new digital media and performance in multichannel video installations.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Joan Jonas – ‘I'm Curious About Life’ - TateShots

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Joan Jonas in Conversation with Marina Warner - Tate Talks

Joan Jonas Artworks

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Camera by Roberta Neiman. In this interview, I investigate with Joan the significance of her performances and installations by stressing her ideas-in-form.

What kind of form: modernist poetry. It has an organic open-work structure of experimentation that necessitates play along with a system of signs. Its mythology offers a visual image of a new Gestalt. The base of the experience relies on negative utterance; Jonas frees us from cultural associations without arriving at any definitive closure that might reduce its signification.

Why did you choose those particular pieces? Joan Jonas From the very beginning I have invented ways of making drawings in relation to performance, video, the monitor, the camera, and the space. And when the motion or the gesture is repeated over and over again it becomes a kind of ritual. With an audience, there is that as well, but I also perform for the audience. The drawing is altered because of this double focus.

When you began making performances, that was not the norm. You introduced multiple, simultaneous actions. You walked into the storefront and went from one room to another. In each room something was happening all at the same time, continuously. It was an experience you put together.

At Location One, after understanding your compulsion to produce these drawings, I left seeing this permanent network of traces and body movements around drawing. Drawings became the skeleton of the show. Yet many of these drawings are scribble drawings; they evoke in me this phenomenological, almost tactile experience. There are some actual scribbles, but mostly basic forms. Sometimes I draw around projections of shadows trying to catch the figures, or I catch the form of a cone being held by a performer in the video feedback.

I draw the movement of forms. I felt it as physical. We have then the original text, you, the act, and the drawing. This is particularly interesting because you work with language. Your drawings show us precise and minimal actions. You disintegrate a given language that we are familiar with to form another kind of language. There is a sense of innovation in working with these writers that you bring to us in your work—Borges, H.

I see your work as the formation of a new Gestalt. There is a non self-organizing tendency to bring us a sense of a whole, the way we used to understand the relationship of a figure in a field in painting. This has happened in your work since the beginning. But I want to ask a fundamental question: What are the politics of performing a drawing as opposed to just presenting it? How does the negotiation between process and product affect meaning?

An act. I save my drawings, by the way. Movement itself is part of the process of making the drawing. The drawings exist in relation to that fleeting moment. In the very early works I used poles and sticks to extend my body. Not always for drawing, but to trace lines to delineate space or to move with. Circles and sticks. Circles and lines. The basic elements of drawing, actually.

My work is accumulative, as you said. Over the years, I reuse old ideas. From the very beginning, I was influenced by rituals of other cultures, in mythology, in looking at early Chinese art.

When I began to do performance, I thought: What am I doing in this context of the art world, of friends? Why am I getting up in front of people, moving around and doing tasks? Then I thought of how people in other cultures work in relation to one another. A ritual is for the community. I began to look at the way simple gestures, repeated, connect the onlooker to the performer.

So I started to work with my own rituals related to repeated, simple tasks or continuous movements with particular sounds, materials, and objects that I developed in relation to particular spaces. Wind , excerpt minutes , 16 mm film transferred to Digital Betacam, black and white, total running time minutes, silent. Camera and coediting by Peter Campus.

As a result we see you in two different sizes. The mirror on the right is bigger than the monitor on the left. I began performances with mirrors and then I switched to the video monitor, which I considered an ongoing mirror. One camera behind the mirror and monitor frames my face and the blackboard, while the other camera behind me frames the monitor and the mirror. The camera facing me feeds into the monitor, so that I see my image both reflected in the mirror and in the monitor, as does the camera behind me.

The video cuts between these two images and sometimes juxtaposes them. But the idea of fragmentation has partly to do with the idea of cutting and pasting in film editing, which has now become part of our language in relation to the computer. The jump cut, for instance, can be literal in relation to a movement. Left Side Right Side , excerpt minutes , performance video transferred to Digital Betacam, black and white, total running time 11 minutes. We have, in this image, the destruction of a given Gestalt we take for granted.

You used a mirror to create new configurations out of familiar parts. It delivers a shock to the system. The composition of the parts of this new Gestalt is made of the broken body parts of the old one.

Borges had a big influence on me. His view of the universe as being this big, infinite structure, a library, is fascinating. And you can read it in multiple ways. Lacan defines the mirror stage as the first identification we have with an image. At this time one is not ready to be a whole human being.

It is a free space and a neutral area of experience. Culture can be defined as the predominating attitude that characterizes the functioning of a group or organization. For me, you use the mirror as a transitional object. That is the reason I connect your work more to the realm of subculture—a group of people with a culture, whether distinct or hidden, which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.

Within this generated neutral space, as Winicott explains, is how I perceive your relationship with the mirror. The mirror was the first device I used to alter the perception of an audience in relation to the performance space. I was interested in how distance alters the image and sound. In a way, these were all spaces for play in which I distanced myself from the viewer in and behind the object.

The mirrors fragmented the space, the audience, and the performers. On another level, I was interested in how an audience might feel uneasy as they were caught looking at themselves in the performance. In a way, narcissism is the nature of the medium. I want to go back to this image of you. I think of two. It has to do with the medium I chose; it fragments the body but also reproduces it, repeats it.

The first time I became another was when I created the persona of the erotic seductress Organic Honey, through which I followed the process of my own theatricality. Then I entered into various fairy tales and played the female characters. But I entered into H. And with Warburg I have a very personal relationship.

Three characters there as well. Early in my life I focused on cooking, so it became a metaphor. You work deliberately and then the chemical reactions take place. The process takes time. This melancholic quality brings the beholder into a neutral space, a space where I suspend my perception to experience your un threading of drawings with yourself, with Dante, with Warburg, with H. How long does it take you to do a piece? Each period of work has a certain kind of continuity.

Mirage , excerpt minutes , performance video transferred to Digital Betacam, black and white, total running time variable.

Camera by Roberta. Performed in various locations.

Joan Jonas

Exhibition Guide. Joan Jonas born is a pioneer of performance, video and installation who has pushed the boundaries of art for the last five decades. After studying sculpture and art history she became one of the founding figures of performance when it first emerged in New York in the s and s. Throughout her career Jonas has constantly experimented with different media and continues to influence generations of younger artists.

Wosk art history, English, and studio painting, State Univ. Read full review.

And yet they do. Behind a door in Mercer Street is an elevator that takes you up to the loft of the performance artist Joan Jonas, a space where she has lived and worked since the early 70s. Surrounded by the dozens of objects she has accumulated over the decades — a realm of authenticity that includes pebbles, baskets, bowls, dolls and masks — you feel suddenly ashamed of the long minutes you just spent staring at the windows of the Prada store that stands on the site of the old SoHo Guggenheim. She dislikes doing interviews, and her somewhat minimalist answers, at least at first, give me the strong sense that my questions are as dumb as any she has ever been asked. Add to this the essential problem that, like most of those who come to talk to her, I have seen her performances only in photographs as she and I will discuss later, there is a sense in which her work can be said not really to exist beyond the moment of its production , and the potential for misunderstanding would seem to be bigger even than this vast room.

Joan Jonas: ‘You don’t know what you’re doing sometimes. You just begin’

Charting over 45 years of feminist debate on the significance of gender in the making and understanding of art, the long-anticipated new edition of Feminism-Art-Theory has been extensively updated and reworked. Feminism Art Theory : An Anthology - Completely revised, retaining only one-third of the texts of the earlier edition, with all other material being new inclusions Brings together 88 revealing texts from North America, Europe and Australasia, juxtaposing writings from artists and activists with those of academics Embraces a broad range of threads and perspectives, from diverse national and global approaches, lesbian and queer theory, and postmodernism, to education and aesthetics Includes many classic texts, but is particularly notable for its inclusion of rare and significant material not reprinted elsewhere Provides a uniquely flexible resource for study and research due to its scale and structure; each of the seven sections focuses on a specific area of debate, with texts arranged chronologically in order to show how issues and arguments developed over time. Activism and Institutions. Historical and Critical Practices. Materials Practices Choices. Representing Women.

Joan Jonas born July 13, is an American visual artist and a pioneer of video and performance art , who is one of the most important female artists to emerge in the late s and early s. Her influences also extended to conceptual art , theatre , performance art and other visual media. Jonas was born in in New York City. Between , Jonas performed Mirror Pieces , works which used mirrors to as a central motif or prop. In Wind , Jonas filmed performers stiffly passing through the field of view against a wind that lent the choreography a psychological mystique.

Camera by Roberta Neiman.

In Mirror Piece I , Jonas along with other female performers employs mirrors as props in which they slowly perform a series of choreographed movements in front of a live audience. The work immediately recalls the work of fellow artists Ana Mendieta and Francesca Woodman, but while these two artists performed only for their camera, the audience is crucial for Jonas. Indeed, in the Jonas version of this way of assessing identity, the mirrors reflect not only the bodies of the performers, but also, and just as importantly, the audience members themselves. Indeed, by using very large mirrors that could easily break if not handled correctly, Jonas sought to create an unsettling feeling.

Jonas wrote art history in the s as one of the first female artists to develop a new kind of art comprised of dance, installation, and video: the Happening. Out of this action-oriented art, most of which involved the audience, arose her attention-getting performances. Order now. To Wish List.

No eBook available Wiley. Charting over 45 years of feminist debate on the significance of gender in the making and understanding of art, the long-anticipated new edition of Feminism-Art-Theory has been extensively updated and reworked. Account Options Sign in. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Get print book. Shop for Books on Google Play Browse the world's largest eBookstore and start reading today on the web, tablet, phone, or ereader.

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Joan Jonas, believing that sculpture and painting were exhausted mediums, became with whom she studied dance, as well as John Cage and Claes Oldenburg, 10 Female Performance Artists You Should Know, from Ana Mendieta to.

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Comments: 1
  1. Kizuru

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