Artist: Jonas Mekas
Venue: Palazzo Foscari Contarini, Venice
Exhibition Title: The Internet Saga
Date: May 7 – November 22, 2015
Full gallery of videos, images, press release and link available after the jump.
Jonas Mekas, excerpt from 365 Day Project (editing) (Madonna’s Confessions Tour and Hiro Yamagata’s show in New York), single channel video, 93 min, 2007-2015
Jonas Mekas, excerpt from My First 40 (editing) (Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s Bed-In), single channel video, 92 min, 2006-2015
Jonas Mekas, excerpt from Online Diary (Flowers), single channel video, 110 min, 2008-2015
Jonas Mekas, excerpt from Online Diary (Giuseppe Zevola playing Giordano Bruno at the Serpentine Gallery), single channel video, 110 min, 2008-2015
Jonas Mekas, excerpt from Online Diary (Paul Sharits at Greene Naftali), single channel video, 110 min, 2008-2015
Jonas Mekas, excerpt from Online Diary (Snow), single channel video, 110 min, 2008-2015
Images and videos courtesy of Palazzo Foscari Contarini, Venice. Photos by Giulio Favotto.
THE INTERNET SAGA
We are all aware that our relationship with the Internet had changed, if only because talking about post-Internet art, of art after Internet’s diffusion, has become mainstream. But what has truly changed? Above all, the language, as always.
Our lives are no longer divided between online and offline: the smartphone is always turned on and the connection is present everywhere, so that we are constantly online and offline contemporaneously. Internet is no longer a place – a virtual world as we defined it ten years ago – but a time which juxtaposes itself perfectly to our life. And it is not a coincidence if, from Myspace, we have moved on to consulting an infinite number of timelines.
The Internet is always linked less to our space and more to our time. This is why, to represent Internet art during the Venice Biennial, a pavilion similar to those of other nations is no longer sufficient: we need a new narrative form.
It is from this premise that the The Internet Saga was created, the only project dedicated to digital culture on the occasion of this Venetian event. On the 6th and 7th of May, the inauguration of this project will be held at Palazzo Foscari Contarini and at the Spazio Ridotto, curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi.
THE ARTIST AND THE PROJECT’S SPACES
An epic tale of northern European tradition, a saga moves forward with infinite digressions, just like surfing the Net. All the different stories told must be bound together by the presence of a great founder. And this first episode of The Internet Saga has such an exceptional figure: Jonas Mekas (Biržai, 24th December 1922), absolute pioneer of independent cinema, both before and after Internet.
Founder of the New American Cinema in 1960 and the Anthology Film Archives in 1969, the Lithuanian- American artist has never stopped experimenting and in 2006 he developed a video-diary on the web which now has over 500 short films.
If we consider that YouTube has been online since 2005 we can certainly affirm that Mekas is indeed one of the first web-stars of contemporary art. Who better than him, an artist who has been part of the evolution of audiovisual language both on and offline through the end of one century to the beginning of the next, is able to show us the present and the future of the Internet?
For Venice, the artist has put together an innovative project which will be divided between two totally new spaces of contemporary art: Palazzo Foscari Contarini, now the city’s only Burger King restaurant, in front of Ponte degli Scalzi, and Spazio Ridotto, project space dedicated to video art situated 100 metres from Piazza San Marco. These two places, these two chapters connected by the Grand Canal, will narrate the perpetual connection in which we have started to live between the fast and the slow.