MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

GOOD NIGHT GOOD MORNING

2024.03.15

Text by Francesca Fontanesi

Good Night Good Morning, the retrospective of Joan Jonas in New York, opens with the screening of the film Wind. The obsession with the camera, the impact of natural phenomena, and the use of mirrors as a method to manipulate space are the main themes of the exhibition.

Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning
MoMA, New York
From March 17th until July 6th, 2024

 

 

 

For the first time in New York, the work of Joan Jonas is presented in its entirety. MoMA presents Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning, an exhibition that explores the 50-year artistic career of the pioneer of performance and video art. Curator Ana Janevski chronologically traces the development of the artist’s practice through the early works from the 1960s and 1970s, which explore the confluence of technology and ritual, and the more recent ones dealing with ecology and landscape. The performances, videos, large-scale multimedia installations, drawings, photographs, and archival documents, materially construct Joan Jonas’s refined and increasingly multidisciplinary thinking. Only after participating in workshops with choreographers from the Judson Dance Theater, she began her career as a sculptor, then, in the late 1960s, shifted her artistic practice towards experimentation between performance and technology. Good Night Good Morning opens with the screening of the 16mm film Wind (1968), which introduces many of Jonas’s interests, such as her obsession with the camera, the impact of natural phenomena, and the use of mirrors as a method to manipulate and fragment space. These themes are revisited throughout the exhibition, particularly in the early performances set in lofts in downtown New York, on piers, in vacant lots, and on public beaches. The retrospective is an opportunity to explore and deeply understand the artist’s process of translation, how Jonas relates multiple expressive media simultaneously using her works as archival material.

Joan Jonas posing for an unrealized poster for a performance of Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy at LoGiudice Gallery, New York 1972. Photograph: Richard Serra. © Joan Jonas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

“It’s been exciting to reconsider old and newer works as they relate in a new context. I am very happy to have the work on exhibition in New York, where I have lived most of my life.” 

– Joan Jonas

Each project is based on the preceding one, often transforming it or re-presenting it in other media. Like Mirage (1976/1994/2005), a work from the MoMA collection, born in 1976 as a performance at the Anthology Film Archives in New York. On that occasion, Jonas used film, video, drawings, and props to evoke rituals, but in 1994, the artist reimagined the work in the form of an installation composed of sculptural elements, chalkboard drawings, video, and documentation of the original performance, which she then reconfigured at MoMA in 2005/2019 and which she revisited today on the occasion of Good Night Good Morning. Jonas’s cross-medial installations address urgent aspects of the present time, such as the ecological crisis, a theme echoed in Moving Off the Land II (2019), presented in new forms after the latest research by Gruber on the consciousness of marine animals. A work that presents an intense three-year research, in aquariums and in Jamaican waters, in which the artist fully experiments, and with the approach that has always characterized her productions, the life of biofluorescent organisms and the impact of oceans on the environment. Thus, as the process follows this wavelike motion, which always returns to the starting point, Jonas also returns to exhibit her work in New York, where she has lived most of her life.

JOAN JONAS. MIRAGE. 1976. UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM(NOW UC BERKELEY ART MUSEUM AND PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE), BERKELEY, 1980. PERFORMER: JOAN JONAS. ASSISTANT: ELSIE RITCHIE. PHOTO: BENJAMIN BLACKWELL. SOURCE: JOAN JONAS STUDIO.

“The exhibition also advances the Museum’s commitment to representing the work of key women artists whose practices have been deeply influential in the history of performance, media, and feminist art practices.”

– Ana Janevski

JOAN JONAS. MIRROR PIECE I. 1969. PERFORMANCE, BARD COLLEGE, ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.
JOAN JONAS. MOVING OFF THE LAND. 2016-2018. PRESENTED BY DANSPACE PROJECT, NEW YORK, 2018. PHOTO BY IAN DOUGLAS/COURTESY OF DANSPACE PROJECT.

For further information moma.org.

BIENNALE

THE NAUMACHIA BALL

2024.04.22

On Saturday, April 20th, Dior’s Naumachia Ball took place in Venice, marking a third chapter following the great success of the Tiepolo Ball at Palazzo Labia in 2019 and the Opera Ball at the Gran Teatro La Fenice in 2022.

VENICE

JE EST UN AUTRE

2024.04.22

The Espace Louis Vuitton Venice has announced the opening of a new exhibition Je Est Un Autre by the French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest, a collateral event of the sixtieth International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

DESIGN

A RADICAL THINKER

2024.04.19

The exhibition Nice to See You, set up within the spaces of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, is one of the greatest tributes to the life and career of Gaetano Pesce. On display are objects with dual meaning, that of utility and that of provoking thought.

BIENNALE

MATERIAL AND IMMATERIAL

2024.04.19

Monte di Pietà, the new exhibition by Fondazione Prada in Venice, explores the concept of debt as the root of human society and the primary vehicle through which political and cultural power is exercised.

MDW

SOFT GEOMETRIES

2024.04.19

Poliform enters the stage with a comprehensive proposal of the concept of space, increasingly elegant and refined. Jean-Marie Massaud, Emmanuel Gallina, and for the first time, Stefano Belingardi Clusoni, sign the main product innovations.