The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that the MIT List Visual Arts Center, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, presents Joan Jonas as the representative for the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art Exhibition with the exhibition They Come to Us Without a Word.
For the five galleries of the U.S. Pavilion, Joan Jonas will conceive a new complex of works, creating a multilayered ambience, incorporating video, drawings, objects, and sound. Literature has always been an inspiration and source for Jonas, and the project for Venice will extend her investigation into the work of Halldór Laxness and his writing on the spiritual aspects of nature, but will focus on other literary sources.
Joan Jonas (b. 1936, New York, NY, USA) Jonas is a pioneer of video and performance art, and an acclaimed multimedia artist whose work typically encompasses video, performance, installation, sound, text, and drawing. Trained in art history and sculpture, Jonas was a central figure in the performance art movement of the late 1960s, and her experiments and productions in the late 1960s and early 1970s continue to be crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theater. Since 1968, her practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures.
- Joan Jonas, Mirror Piece, performance at Annadale on Hudson, 1969. Photo by Joan Jonas
- Joan Jonas, The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things, performance at Dia Beacon, 2005. Photo by Paula Court