Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Joan Jonas's talk at AIB (June 2012)

In her artist talk at AIB (June 2012), Jonas talked about there being a thin line between acting and performance. In her attempt to distinguish the two, she said: “[In performance, I] treat[ing] my body as material… It has to do with the way people perform in rituals – a little related to dance - and acting is primarily involved with text and also manipulating the voice and face in different ways”.
Several of the ideas that Jonas discussed that evening interested me. She mentioned that through the process of wearing masks, dressing up and using disguises, she developed imaginary characters, states of mind and alter egos. The medium of video enabled her to add a layer of detail and projection to her performances. She also talked about how she created drawings of her dog, which became part of the set, representing the presence of the dog and referencing “a mythic relation to animals”. In ‘Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy’ (1972), Jonas performs by physically juxtaposing herself with the dog drawing, unifying the two elements, and “the dog and the woman become one.”.
In my own video work, which I am still in the process of resolving, I am addressing all of the core themes mentioned above. The hybridization of woman and animal, archetypal personae, mythology and the layering of imagery in video, all feature in my assembly of moving images.

Sea and I writing essays together - rather uncomfortably...

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