JONAS MEKAS // All these images, these sounds
curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi
December 12 2015 – February 14 2016
opening: Saturday December 12, 6pm
public talk: 12 December, 5pm
Ridotto del Teatro Grande, Brescia
Jonas Mekas with Corrado Beldì and Francesco Urbano Ragazzi
These words of the Lithuanian poet and movie-maker prepare us to the waterfall of frames that fill the nineteenth-century halls of the gallery. Those words refer to all the images and sounds gathered by Jonas Mekas, after the invite of the curatorial duo Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, for The Internet Saga Project presented at the Biennale di Venezia 2015. So, this new exhibition is both its translation and a poetic development. All the pieces exposed this year in Venice, come to a new life in Brescia, where the gallery is based. A new life that can be seen in In an Instant it All Can Back to Me, 768 original slides, 768 frames from the films realized between the ’60s and the ’90s, that for the first time in the artist’s career are impressed on 32 monumental glass plates. There are also the three original editings of the Online Diary, a videodiary updated by the artist almost on a daily basis since 2006. An then, To Petrarca an audio piece composed of 51 tracks that record the life of the artist between little moments of daily joy to important historical moments. And also
Birth of a Nation a film that, on four monitors, distributes 160 portraits of the authors who made the history of experimental cinema – from Peter Kubelka to Michael Snow – accompanied by a photographic series of 40 elements never shown in Italy.
As such, Mekas’ visual diaries compose a great tale that celebrates the course of existence between banality and lyricism. Until his arrival on the web in 2006, to take cinema beyond its limits. With all these images and these sounds, the exhibition celebrates Jonas Mekas, jonasmekas.com and the first ten years of the Internet life of a prophetic artist. Ten years that talk about a personal and historical transition from the independence of the cinema avant-gardes to the autonomy of the online fruibility, from the birth of the glorious Nation of the Independent Cinema, to the origins of the Internet people.
“All these images, these sounds” talks about many flowerings. A sequence of seasons and episodes that avoid the rigidity of the series and that take us in the neverending show of reality, in rhythm with the pace of life. From the improvised choir at the Serpentine Gallery to the projection of Andy Warhol’s Empire, passing through the Forest of Karlshrue and a Paul Sharits exhibition, a dinner with Agnes Varda in Paris, a lunch with his family, to the first day of the year for the classic speech at the Saint Mark’s Church. And also flowers, animals, snow, lunar eclipses, wind and brief glimpses of beauty.
To keep it altogether there is the existence of the artist and of everything that passes through his lens. An intermittent circle that, from natural cycles to machines, goes through all he shots and ends up in correspondence to reality. The diary becomes cinema, Internet, building, gallery, life. On to a new season.