Jonas Mekas: ...As I Am Moving Ahead... Glimpses of the Past Linger...

24 Jan – 22 Apr 2013

The Jonas Mekas exhibition at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art presents a cross-section of the work of this 90-year-old living legend of avant-garde filmmaking.
This project could be called a mini-retrospective of Mekas’s work as well as his first survey of his art work in the Czech Republic, which starts several weeks after the opening of Mekas´s exhibitions at several prestigious institutions - Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Serpentine Gallery in London and the British Film Institute Southbank in London.
Jonas Mekas is originally from Lithuania, and began his artistic career as a poet. After several years in refugee camps following World War II, he ended up in New York. He soon joined the American avant-garde film movement and became its leading personality as an organizer, critic, publisher and creator. In 1945 he and his brother began publishing Film Culture magazine, which soon became the most important film periodical in the USA. In 1958, he began writing his legendary Movie Journal column in the Village Voice. He is the founder of Anthology Film Archives, one of the most important global avant-garde film collections, with an archive and a theatre. During the course of his life, he has also published over twenty books of prose and poetry, which have been translated into twelve languages. Mekas is considered a pioneer of the diary form in film, and his films can be seen in collections of leading world-class museums around the world. Since the year 2000 the scope of his work has broadened to include video installations, which he has exhibited in a number of institutions around the world.
The Prague exhibition concentrates on the artist’s work from 1989 until the present day, and it will be accompanied with five special projections of films, including classics created prior to 1989 such as Walden or Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania. The exhibition highlights his new work Out-Takes from the Life of a Happy Man as well as an installation called the 365 Day Project, which the author created for the internet in 2007. The work was inspired by a collection of poems by the Italian Renaissance poet Petrarch entitled Il Canzoniere (Song Book) containing 366 poems. For each day, Mekas created a video, and published it on the internet.

Exhibited works:

Out-Takes from the Life of Happy Man (2012), video, 68 min.

365 Day Project (2007), video installation

The First 40 (2006), video installation

Sleepless Night Stories(2011) video, 114 min.

Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR (2008), video, 290 min.

The Spring of Cahors Series (1998), C-prints

Walden: Diaries, Notes and Sketches (1969), 16 mm film, 180 min.

Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972), 16mm film, 82 min.

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000), 16mm film, 285 min.

Lost Lost Lost (1976), 16mm film, 178 min.

I am standing in the middle of the information highway and laughing, because a butterfly on a little flower somewhere just fluttered its wings, and I know that the whole course of history will drastically change because of that flutter.
Jonas Mekas

Video teaser of the film Meanwhile Butterfly Flies .... Courtesy French Connection, autor: Julius Ziz.

The curator of the exhibition is Jaroslav Anděl, who met Mekas in 1981, and since then has collaborated with him on several projects.

The exhibition catalogue features texts by Jonas Mekas, Benn Northover and Jaroslav Anděl. For sale at DOX Info center.

Exhibition opening guest: Alaverdi - the wickedest Lithuanian mantracore from Prague


25. 2. 18:00 Walden, (180 min), DOX Centre, Preface: Andrea Slováková (NAMU, FF UK)

13. 3. 18:00 Reminiscences of Journey to Lithuania, (82 min), DOX Centre, Preface: Hana Rezková (DOKweb)

25. 3. 18:00 As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally, (285 min), DOX Centre, Preface: Jiří Horníček (NFA)

8. 4.  20:30 Lost, Lost, Lost, (178 min), Světozor Cinema, Preface: Miloš Vojtěchovský and FAMU students

17. 4. 18:00 Sleepless Night Stories (114 min), DOX Centre, Preface: Martin Čihák (FAMU)

Photogallery of Jonas Mekas work (click for captions)