July 26−November 09, 2014
Jonas Mekas. 365 Day Project
An exhibition at the ZKM | Media Museum
Opening: Fri, July 25, 2014, 7 p.m.
Closed from Thus−Sun, Sept 11−14, 2014!
→ Information in Deutsch
The filmmaker and poet Jonas Mekas has been one of the most influential figures in experimental film since the 1960s. Born in Lithuania in 1922, he found his second home in New York City in 1949 where he personally encountered the artistic movements of the city, quickly becoming part of the avant-garde.
In his films, videos and installations, Jonas Mekas frequently centers on the complex of biographical memory, simultaneously exploring the technological singularities of the various mnemonic devices he audaciously uses: classic 16mm film, digital video systems, internet based video platforms and other forms of non-collective reception beyond the movie theater. “Mekas on film” is thus always also “Mekas on film”.
For the 365 Day Project, Mekas recorded a video on every day of 2007. The resulting collection of videos forms a fragmented audiovisual journal. We see landscapes, live recordings of public events, gatherings with friends such as Jean-Jacques Lebel, archive footage and Jonas Mekas himself, reflecting on philosophical questions.
In the exhibition, the project is presented as an installation of 52 screens that allows watching the videos both individually and simultaneously as a large mosaic of moving images. The filmic technique of montage, for Walter Benjamin the manifestation of film’s revolutionary potential, is spatialized and the construction of a timeline thus left to the viewer. In addition, in Mekas’ work, it is a potential of light and color as well, as Mekas uses not only cuts but also exposure to detonate “the dynamite of the tenth of a second” (Benjamin).
Still, the 365 Day Project is neither finale nor culmination of Mekas’ work, but only one part of many, one part of a continuous chronicle of events. Through Mekas’ homepage, his video diary entries for the past few weeks are already accessible.
- subject to change -