Again It All Comes Back to Me in Brief Glimpses
– 4 March 2018
Born in Lithuania in 1922, Jonas Mekas calls himself a filmmaker. His style of using photography for sequential diary entries shapes his works and is the link between his everyday life and his artistic work. The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul now presents a retrospective of the work of the 95-year-old artist.
Mekas’ work began as a teenager, with publications of his poetry in his homeland. After difficult years during the Second World War, he eventually decided to immigrate to New York. From 1953 onwards he began to make his own films here. Nonetheless, text remained an important medium to Mekas and so, in 1954 he founded the newspaper Film Culture, and became an important critic and catalyst in the American film scene.
Mekas achieved fame for his diary films, which combine poetic texts with pieces of his cinematic illustrations. However, his narrative and documentary films are also highly valued.
Mekas’ life is a journey that is not yet over, and as an expression of his avant-garde spirit, he continues to add new media to his repertoire. Since 2007 he has been regularly posting diary entries on his Website and on YouTube.
The exhibition is an attempt to organise the mass of the work, and make it accessible while placing it in new contexts, for example, by displaying the diary entries on 12 different monitors. 120 photographs show his influence on the art and culture scene, especially highlighting his connection to Andy Warhol's Factory and the Fluxus movement. His films are presented in various ways, for example, the 1964 film “The Brig” is juxtaposed with “Destruction Quartet” from 2006 and the film “Travel Song” (1981) is shown in the form of a “Quartet”.
In addition, regular screenings feature Mekas’ masterpieces, such as “Walden” (1969) and “As I Was Moving Ahead I Saw Letter Glimpses of Beauty” (2000).