july exhibitions + performances / renée green + joan jonas

Images: Exhibition views of Joan Jonas's, They Come to Us without a Word, U.S. Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2015. Photos by Amanda Moore; Renée Green's Media Bichos and Space Poem #3 (Media Bicho). Phase 1, 2012. Photos by Thomas Griesel.
ACT at MIT

This month, Renée Green and Joan Jonas will both be presenting work at internationally recognized venues.

ACT Professor, Renée Green will participate in the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s upcoming exhibition, The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now. Opening on July 11, the show is occasioned in part by the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the exhibition focuses on the oft times neglected experimental and avant-garde aspects of Black music and art. Green will be exhibiting Space Poem #3 (Media Bicho), a component from her project for the MoMA Media Lounge in 2012 in which her sculptural units, Media Bichos, provided a modular, flexible spatial work allowing MoMA visitors to access a selection from the Museum’s video and film collection.

On July 20, 2015, ACT Professor Emerita, Joan Jonas will launch a new video performance, They Come to Us without a Word II, as part of her project for the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, in Venice, Italy. Conceived and directed by the artist, the performance will be accompanied by live newly composed music from Jonas’s longtime sound collaborator, American jazz pianist, Jason Moran. Performances will take place on the evenings of July 20, 21 and 22. Video footage from Jonas’ installation in the U.S. Pavilion will be reedited and incorporated into the production.

Beyond their friendship and shared relationship with MIT, Green and Jonas have followed a similar trajectory throughout their careers, both having found positive reception in Europe, while frequently commuting and keeping ties to communities in the United States, but especially to New York’s cultural milieu. In order to support their practices and before joining MIT, both artists taught in Europe during the 1990s and through the 2000s, Jonas in Germany, Green in Germany, Austria, and Lisbon. These experiences have shaped both of their practices: Jonas’s movement from performance toward video and installation-based practices can be described as translations inclusive of previous practices and forms into new works and possible outcomes, and are also reflective of the state of technology and fluctuating cultural values; Green’s densely layered multimedia installations continue to investigate international circuits of relation and exchange over time. At ACT, she has directly attempted to consider migrations–of forms, of ideas, and of people–as a significant factor of artistic production; Green’s research project at MIT, Cinematic Migrations, spearheaded the launch of the ACT course Cinematic Migrations in 2012 with a two-year series of lectures. On Green’s invitation, Jonas joined this effort, lecturing on her own work and teaming up with students, alongside John Akomfrah and Lina Gopaul of London-based Smoking Dogs Films on Cinematic Migrations’ collaborative film project, The Memory Album.

And lastly, on the occasion of Joan Jonas’s exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Green was in conversation with List exhibition curator Henriette Huldish about Jonas’ life and career and presented Thinking about Joan Jonas, Waking Thoughts, a poetic invocation of Jonas’ work and figure. An excerpt of The Memory Album was also screened. Green’s presentation’s text will be published in a revised form latter in 2015 in a publication from San Francisco’s Wattis Instittute entitled Joan Jonas Is On Our Mind.

See Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s website for more info about the Freedom Principle exhibition & and related programs.
Check out ACT’s videos and views of Jonas’s installation in the U.S. pavilion on our Facebook page.
For more about Jonas’s award-winning exhibition at the U.S. pavilion and performances of They Come to Us without a Word II, visit joanjonasvenice2015.com