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Joan Jonas, Reading Dante.
Joan Jonas, Reading Dante.

December 9, 2013

Joan Jonas,
ACT Professor Emerita                 


In Joan Jonas’s own words, Reanimation “is partly an homage to spiritual aspects of nature […], but as glaciers are now melting, the work […] reflects the present-day situation.” The piece is based on the 1968 novel Under the Glacier by Icelandic writer Halldór Laxness. Originally developed at MIT in 2010, the piece combines sound, video, sculpture, and drawing, and was shown for the first time in its finished form at Documenta 13 in 2012.

Joan Jonas, ACT Professor Emerita, is a pioneer of video and performance art. Her experiments in the 1960s and 1970s were crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theater. Her recent live web performance at Tate Modern continues her exploration of the relationship between new digital media and performance. At once introspective, narrative, and symbolic, Jonas’s work weaves nonlinear narrative structures, poetry, mythology, and folk songs with themes such as memory, embodiment, and movement. Jonas has exhibited extensively including at the Venice Biennale and six times at Documenta. In 2009 she received the Guggenheim Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work is currently included in two shows in Sweden: Joan Jonas: Reanimation (Kulturhuset, Stockholm) and Theatrical Fields (Bildmuseet, Umeå).