Jonas Mekas’ special program at PerSe Visioni Film, Music and Arts Festival

Association “Bachi da Setola” is proud to present the 16th edition of “PerSe Visioni”, a film, music and arts festival, which will take place from 18 to 25 August 2023 in Polignano a Mare (Italy). This year the festival will kick off with a special introductory event – Glimpses of Paradise | Scorci di Paradiso – to celebrate the life and work of the esteemed filmmaker Jonas Mekas. This event is part of the Jonas Mekas 100! programme and will feature a film screening, guest speakers, and a book exhibition.

Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, a renowned curatorial duo with extensive experience in cinema and contemporary art, will be joining the event as guest speakers. Before the screening, they will provide an illuminating introduction to Jonas Mekas’ life and his seminal body of work. Following the screening, the audience will have the opportunity to engage in a special Q&A session with Francesco Urbano Ragazzi.

In addition to the film screening, the event will feature a special exhibition of books by and about Jonas Mekas. Erika Lastovskytė carefully curated a collection of books that will be on display, allowing visitors to browse and explore Mekas’ written work, philosophy, and artistic journey in greater detail.

The event is free of charge. More information available here.

Screenshot from the film "Empire" (1965), directed by Andy Warhol, cinematography by Jonas Mekas

Online talk on Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas, Mishkin Gallery

Join Mishkin Gallery and art historian Inesa Brašiškė for a closing event for “Warhol, People and Things: 1972–2022”, an exhibition featuring work from the Baruch College art collection currently on view at Casa São Roque in Porto, Portugal.

Brašiškė will discuss the vibrant collaborations between Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas, share documentation related to Warhol’s screen tests of Mekas, and consider Mekas’s “Scenes of the Life Of Andy Warhol” (1982) which is currently on view in Portugal as part of the exhibition.

For more information and registration can be found here.

Diaries, Notes and Sketches pt 3 – Poetic cinema and polyphonic practices at INDEX

Noting the centennial of Lithuanian poet and filmmaker Jonas Mekas, Index will be hosting a three part screening series showing Mekas’ experimental diary film Walden from 1968. Using Walden as a point of departure, the series will spotlight Mekas’ important role as enabler, organizer, connector of people, and devout advocate for art.

This third and final session focuses on Mekas’ dual role as poet and filmmaker. It invites contemporary artists to talk about polyphonic practices; allowing methods and particularities from one medium to bleed into another – linguistics into film, movement into sculpture and sound into image.

Isabella Tjäder, Curator of Learning at Index, will moderate a discussion between artists Agnė Jokšė, Anastasia Sosunova, Andria Nyberg Forshage, Eglė Budvytytė, and Salad Hilowle.

For more information on the sessions please visit link here.

Diaries, Notes and Sketches pt 2 – Critique, contemplation and editorial outlooks at INDEX

Noting the centennial of Lithuanian poet and filmmaker Jonas Mekas, Index will be hosting a three part screening series showing Mekas’ experimental diary film Walden from 1968. Using Walden as a point of departure, the series will spotlight Mekas’ important role as enabler, organizer, connector of people, and devout advocate for art.

This second session doubles as a release for the most recent issue from Ord&Bild and is generally inspired by Mekas’ journalistic output. In 1954, him and his brother founded Film Culture, a magazine offering a space for in depht writing on avant-garde cinema. A few years later he became the first film critic for the Village Voice, where he continued publishing his weekly column Movie Journal for over a decade.

Isabella Tjäder, Curator of Learning at Index, will moderate a discussion between Jonatan Habib Engqvist, editor at Ord&Bild, and Amin Zouiten + Aron Skoog, founders of Filmögon.

More information on this event can be found here.

Screenings of the film “Vertigo” by Haruo Inoue and discussions at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

“Vertigo” (2022) follows Gozo Yoshimasu (b. 1939), a pioneer of modern Japanese poetry, as he seeks memories of his friend Jonas Mekas (1922-2019) through Manhattan and Brooklyn one year after Mekas’ passing. The film depicts Gozo’s process as he works on a poetic requiem for his friend during his stay in America. Talks between Gozo Yoshimatsu and film director Haruo Inoue will follow screenings from 18:00 December 20-25, 2022. Film director – Haruo Inoue.

This film depicts the dramatic birth of a poem that could be called a requiem on the first anniversary of the death of Mekas, who was considered a giant of experimental cinema. “Why are your poems and films so shaky?” Someone asked this question to Jonas Mekas, the poet deemed the godfather of American avant-garde cinema. Mekas replied “My life is shaky.”

More information available here.

Valentina Alvarado Matos, 2020

Jonas Mekas’ special program at Matadero Madrid

Laía Argüelles writes in her Breve ensayo sobre la carta [Brief Essay on the Letter] (2021) that perhaps the letter consists of “making of distance the condition for the most intimate closeness”. This encounter takes its title from this text, a particular correspondence between Valentina Alvarado and Jonas Mekas as a tribute, based on fragments of the diaries selected by the Venezuelan filmmaker, in which distances (geographical, temporal, etc.) are transformed into unexpected closeness. Like the glipmses of beauty that run through all of Jonas Mekas’ work, in this celebration, Valentina Alvarado’s records resonate with the fragments written by Mekas in Ningún lugar adonde ir (Caja Negra, 2008), and in Destellos de belleza (Caja Negra, 2022). Intertwining images and texts, sounds and silences, Valentina Alvarado will propose a personal reading of Mekas’s texts that she will later discuss with the Argentinian filmmaker, critic and translator Pablo Marín.

Still from film "Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania" (1972) by Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas 100 anniversary programme at Kino Regina/KAVI

The National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI) in Helsinki celebrates the 100th anniversary of Jonas Mekas with a programme of four feature films, a short film programme, a photo exhibition as well as a panel discussion and introductions. The programme kicks off on the first weekend of December and runs until mid-January in the cinematheque of KAVI, Kino Regina.

The Jonas Mekas programme starts on 2 December with a screening of Mekas’ short films and film diary entries.  3rd December begins with a conversation about Jonas Mekas’ work and legacy. The participants include two international guests: Kristijonas Gukauskas, a London-based Lithuanian art historian and independent curator, and Arunas Kulikauskas who has worked closely with Jonas Mekas for 22 years at the Anthology Film Archives. Photos by A. Kulikauskas are exhibited in the lobby of Kino Regina during the film programme in December and January. He will be also introducing the screening of the feature film Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972) following the panel discussion and the short film programme on 4 December.

The other films in the programme include Walden (1969), Lost Lost Lost (1976) and As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000), all screened from 16 mm film.

For a complete programme at Kino Regina visit link here.


Discussion and screenings at Morra Greco Foundation

In occasion of the centenary celebrations for Jonas Mekas’ (1922 – 2019) birth, Through Jonas Mekas: From Morra Greco Collection to Contemporary Lithuanian Artists, curated by Alessandra Troncone, is a tribute to the Lithuanian-born poet, artist and filmmaker whose starting point is the two works in the Morra Greco Collection: Elvis&Wein&Mozart (2001) and Lonesome Day (2003).

The project divides into two moments: on Tuesday, November 22 at 6 pm, a talk will take place at the Fondazione Morra Greco that will focus on Mekas, his relationship with Naples and his influence on the latest generation of artists and filmmakers. Moderated by Alessandra Troncone, the event will feature Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, curators of the exhibition Jonas Mekas. Images are Real at the Macro Mattatoio, Rome; Simona Žemaitytė, artist and filmmaker; and Giuseppe Zevola, artist, and will be accompanied by the screening of two films by Mekas from the Morra Greco Collection.

Starting instead on Thursday, November 24, and for the duration of Art Days – Napoli Campania (November 24-27), the third floor of the Foundation will host a screening featuring a selection of films and videos by Lithuanian artists born between the 1980s and 1990s. The programme will screen films by the following Lithuanian artists: Rimas Sakalauskas, Emilija Škarnulytė, Denisas Kolomyckis, Kipras Dubauskas, Ulijona Odišarija, Simona Žemaitytė.

For more information visit the link here.


Jonas Mekas 100! at Literature Festival “Centenary of European Literature” in Japan

A talk between Julius Ziz, a close friend of Jonas Mekas and compiler of the recently published three-volume edition of the Jonas Mekas’ writings, and Yūki Nagae, Japanese poet and performer. Organized as a part of the program of 100 Years of European Literature. Europe then and now“ festival, under the session  „Luminaries of European Literature“, the event will focus on shedding light on Mekas’ poetry, diaries and other writings, and reflect upon Mekas‘ life story, marked by the destiny of a forced emigree from his native Lithuania.

Illustrated with soundtracks and video footage of Jonas Mekas, reading own poetry, this event will seek to engage and encourage the audience to explore his unique literary legacy, that is not yet widely discovered in Japan.

In English and Japanese with simultaneous translation. To register for live and online viewing here.

For more information, check here.

“Jonas Mekas Musical Milieu” concerts and events at the Lithuanian Museum of Theatre, Music, and Film

“Jonas Mekas Musical Milieu” – a series of concerts of events, organized by the Lithuanian Museum of Theatre, Music, and Film will take place between the 9th and 12th of November. The series delves into little-explored musicality and musical contexts of the late filmmaker, writer, and one of the most important Lithuanian émigré artists Jonas Mekas.

It was inspired by a text written in 2019 by the curator of the project Edvardas Šumila, published in the Lithuanian Music Link journal titled “New York Scenes and Echoes from Lithuania: Jonas Mekas’ Musical Milieu,” overviewing the musicality of Jonas Mekas, and his connections with the New York avant-garde, experimental, and rock music practitioners, and sharing the insights of his friends.

Throughout the four days of events, the visitors will have a chance to experience Jonas Mekas’ sound installation “To Petrarca, Who Walked Over the Hills of Provence” (2003), which has been never exhibited in Lithuania before.

The four concerts in the series will delve into different aspects of Jonas Mekas and his musical milieu and pieces inspired by his creative work.

More information and a full programme can be found here.