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18 May 2012

2B Gallery: 365 Day Project of Jonas Mekas

365 Day Project of Jonas Mekas
2B Gallery


Exhibition: June 8th - July 6th 2012
Curator: Anna Kerekes
Opening: June 8th 2012, 6 pm., in the presence of the artist
Sound Performance:
Jonas Mekas & the Positive Noise Orchestra
June 11th, 2012, 8 pm.
Letter from Greenpoint
June 18, 2012, 6 pm. Scenes from Allen's Last Three Days on Earth as a Spirit
June 25, 2012, 6 pm.

László Böröcz
+36 1 215 4899

2B Gallery
Ráday utca 47
1092, Budapest

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This exhibition focuses on Jonas Mekas' 365 Day Project, a succession of films and videos in calendar form. Every day as of January 1st, 2007 and for an entire year, as indicated in the title, a large public (the artist's friends, as well as unknowns) were invited to view a diary of short films of various lengths (from one to twenty minutes) on the Internet. A movie was posted each day, adding to the previously posted pieces. Jonas Mekas' works were edited with Elle Burchill. Additional assistance was provided by Benn Northover, Pip Chodorov, Joseph Fusco and his son, Sebastian Mekas in collaboration with Stendhal Gallery and agnès b. This team effort resulted in approximately thirty-eight hours of moving images.

The central concept of the exhibition is the presentation of everyday practices and 'living art' which bring together the notion of empirical life (private and public) and the context of hypermedia, a relatively new situation for the artist. On the one hand, the genre of the film diary is a very long held and familiar strategy. Jonas Mekas captured moments of his life as well as those of his friends through writing and then photography, and eventually worked with a Bolex camera and then video and digital cameras. These recordings, collected over a number of decades up to the present day, are the sum of his archive and next to the ongoing daily recordings, provided a wealth of additional material for 365 Day Project. On the other hand, Jonas Mekas, a filmmaker from New York's underground decided to choose the medium of the web, an area little-known to him before. The on-line form taken by 365 Day Project leans on the idea of 'filmic ephemeris' as the life events of Jonas Mekas shot on video are presented day by day on the Internet combining the calendar with the diary form. In this way, the films of the artist's life become both intimate and ex-timate.

Mekas began to work with the internet at around the end of 2006 with the production of First 40, a series of 40 short films. This experience prepared him for the 365 Day Project. Although these two works circulated on the Internet, First 40 was presented in its installation form at the Stendhal Gallery and PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. 365 Day Project however, originally released on the web in 2007 was not shown in installation form until 2009 when the work was finally presented on 12 screens — each representing the 12 months of the year placed on plinths—at the Galerie du jour agnès b. in Paris.

At 2B gallery, the 12 screens will not take on a sculptural presentation but instead will follow the linearity of the film material. Presented on the walls, each monitor corresponds to a moment in Mekas' life, while the screens together, construct an overall chronicle of the life of the artist. It is the spectators' gaze which reconstructs the logic of the artists' memory, the logic of time (chronology), and the (his)story of Jonas Mekas. We complete the installation with the projection of Sleepless Nights Stories (2011) and First 40 (2006) in the dark room of the gallery.

Reviews and scientific research on Jonas Mekas' films revolve around issues of traditional film and the media industry, in combination with a (re)presentation of a poetic world, faithful to avant-garde filmmaking. The creation of a personal cinema composed of family and everyday scenes, as well as footage that became historically signifiant, draw on the complexity between the intimacy of 'self writing' (according to Foucault's definition) and the individual stories that make up a collective experience as related through cinema. The experience of this exhibition is also a collective experience yet allows the visitor to view that which he or she finds most attractive and moving. In this way, the exhibition offers the freedom to view moments in a non-linear fashion, somewhat analogous to the way one experiences images on the Internet; through browsing or surfing and then stopping to view.