Artist: Joan Jonas
Venue: Malmö Konsthall
Exhibition Title: Light Time Tales
Date: September 26, 2015 – January 10, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Malmö Konsthall. Photos by Helene Toresdotter.
Malmö Konsthall presents Light Time Tales, a landmark retrospective exhibition of works by Joan Jonas. A key figure in art for the past fifty years, her work continues to evolve and to break down disciplinary boundaries.
Held in collaboration with HangarBicocca (Milan), Light Time Tales is the largest ever exhibition in Scandinavia devoted to the American artist, presenting multimedia installations and videos and placing new productions alongside foundational works. The exhibition also highlights Jonas’s pioneering research into the medium of video/film and performance.
The exhibition comprises four large-scale installations, including one from the MoMA collection (Museum of Modern Art), New York City, and several single-channel videos, which together create a constellation of Joan Jonas’s most important works. These range from Mirage (1976/1994/2005) to the more recent Reanimation (2010/2012/2013) and Double Lunar Rabbits (2010). The accompanying films and videos similarly span from the late 1960s up to the present day.
Light Time Tales offers insights into the dynamic artistic career of Joan Jonas. A great experimenter who is always exploring new multi-disciplinary collaborations, Jonas has invented a personal artistic language that interweaves video, installation and performance, creating a constant renewal of figurative art—with formal signatures that continue to inspire new generations of artists.
Light Time Tales was originally presented at HangarBicocca between 2 October 2014 and 1 February 2015, and curated by Andrea Lissoni with the curatorial assistance of Fiammetta Griccioli. The exhibition at Malmö Konsthall is co-curated by Andrea Lissoni and Diana Baldon.
To accompany the two exhibitions, Gregory R. Miller & Co. in association with Hatje Cantz, HangarBicocca and Malmö Konsthall have published the most comprehensive monograph to date on the work of the artist.
In November, Malmö Konsthall in collaboration with Malmö Art Academy, Lund University, and Schools of Visual Art, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, are planning a conference. Details are forthcoming.
Light Time Tales presents multimedia works that immediately give the sense of Joan Jonas’s unique engagement with the moving image and of the many ways it can be shown and viewed. This ranges from the macro-scale of projections to the smaller world of monitors, presentation on a variety of screen materials and shapes, and uses of light and object to create shadow and mood, to the point of turning the device of media transmission into an art object itself.
Inspired by a trip to India taken in 1976, Mirage (1976/1994/2005) is one of Joan Jonas’s most intricate works. Beginning with a performance staged by the artist in 1976, it has since become a work combining projections, monitors, teaching elements, a stage and various props. It was conceived as a collection of references to different elements and media that the artist has added and/or modified during successive phases. In its complexity, fragmentation and richness, Mirage is one of Jonas’s most significant installations and testifies to the attitudes of an artist who ceaselessly reflects upon and returns to her own work as subject.
Reanimation (2010/2012/2013) serves as a key example of how Jonas’s experimentation has been evolving over the years. The installation is inspired by Under the Glacier (1968), a novel by the Icelandic writer Hilldor Laxness. The artist chose passages from the book that describe a glacier in Iceland in poetic language as well as referring to certain miraculous aspects of the natural world such as the dandelion and the honeybee. Four grids of wood and Japanese paper form the screens used for showing videos with northern landscapes, mountains at sunset and black ink drawings traced out in the snow. A metal structure contains many hanging crystals, and two My New Theaters complete the work with excerpts of the Disturbances (1974) and Melancholia (2005) videos.
The My New Theater series was created at the end of the 1990s with the aim of
continuing to work with performance, but without the artist’s physical presence. In addition to the theatres in Reanimation, the exhibition presents My New Theater III: In the Shadow a Shadow (1999) and My New Theater VI: Good Night Good Morning ’06 (2006). Long and narrow, similar to the conical elements utilized in historical installations like Mirage, the structure rests upon two wooden sawhorses. Inside displays a video. In front of each mouth of the cone sits a bench that viewers can use when observing the installation.
Two additional recent installations will be on view, The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things (2004/2005), a multimedia installation structured around a multitude of expressive forms that draw on theatre e and art history, and Double Lunar Rabbits (2010), a multi-channel work that explores the shifting of identity and images in movement. Several single-channel videos spanning Jonas’s career will also be on view.