Ord&Bild (”Word&Image”) has been published since 1892, which makes it the oldest cultural journal in Sweden. The final issue of the printed journal on its 130-year jubilee (no. 5.2022) includes a section specifically dedicated to Jonas Mekas and the essay film Walden. Contributions by: Isabella Tjäder (SE), Lars Movin (DK), and Urbonas Studio (LT/US) as well as still images from Jonas Mekas film Walden and his poetry, translated into Swedish by Liana Ruokyte-Jonsson and Mikael Nydahl. The issue also includes a discussion on wetlands which is reflected in the Jonas Mekas section.
In parallel to the physical journal, we are engaged in a conversation with Index Contemporary Art Foundation over the course of several months. The results of this more experimental collaboration will be published online during the spring of 2023.
We celebrate the centenary of our beloved Jonas Mekas on Tuesday 20 December with an exclusive screening of three of his short films, after their screening at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
On this occasion we will screen “Award Presentation to Andy Warhol”, “Happy Birthday to John” and “Notes for Jerome”, as part of Fernando Martín Peña’s cycle, Peña sin cadenas. On that day, we will also be celebrating the presentation of the book “Destellos de belleza”, published this year by Caja Negra Editora, with a collective reading. It will be a good occasion to meet around the Mekasian spirit of friendship, to toast, to say goodbye to the year that is leaving and to augur a great beginning of 2023.
“A Companion to Mekas Walden” is an in-depth guide to Jonas Mekas’s film masterpiece. It is designed to enrich the viewer’s journey through the cultural ferment of New York City in the 1960s explored by Mekas’s film.
When Mekas’s “Diaries, Notes and Sketches” also known as “Walden”, premiered in New York in 1969, it opened a new chapter in the history of artists’ film. A new generation suddenly discovered that the film medium was not reserved for the commercial entertainment industry.
And at the same time “Walden” was also an invaluable record of a time and place that was the nexus of multiple forms of American art – including music, painting, dance, theater, and poetry. As critic Amy Taubin wrote: “Whenever people ask me what it was like to live in New York in the ’60s, I refer them to Mekas’s Walden…”
To celebrate the centenary of our dear Jonas, and within the frame of 37° Mar del Plata Film Festival, we present the book Destellos de belleza, which compiles anecdotes and scenes from his life marked by his emotional bonds and his curious archival desire. With Malena Rey (Caja Negra Editora) and Lucas Granero (La vida útil Magazine), we will also read various fragments in the voice of different guest artists. During the Festival, we are delighted to count with the screening of: Award Presentation to Andy Warhol, Happy Birthday to John and Notes for Jerome.
A true legend of experimental and avant-garde cinema and the first cantor of the family film as an art form, Jonas Mekas (1922 – 2019) dedicated his life to the moving image.
This book covers the entire span of Mekas’ life and multifaceted oeuvre, in which artistic practice is intertwined with critical and curatorial practice: from the dissemination of New American Cinema to the foundation of the Anthology Film Archives. On the occasion of the centenary of his birth, this is the first monograph dedicated to him in Italy.
“This collection of letters from Adolfas and Jonas Mekas shows the importance of writing as a way of memory-making. For many years Jonas Mekas would write in a diary before his diaries were replaced by constant filmic documentation of his life and surroundings. The intimate insight these letters provide are wonderful documents of their time as well as marks of the dying art of letter writing. As Jonas once told me: “The future will be determined by the present moment; this moment, this very second, will determine the next moment.” So let us make sure to remember this present moment as it was, in part, determined by the moments described by Adolfas and Jonas Mekas in their wonderful letters.” (Hans Ulrich Obrist, art curator). The book is published in English, French and Lithuanian.
Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and Lithuanian Culture Institute invites to the presentation of the Russian edition of Jonas Mekas book “Letters from Nowhere”. The book, published by “Baltrus” publisher, was translated by Alexandra Vasilkova and supported by Lithuanian Culture Institute. The event will be attended by Motiejus Čepaitis, a representative of “Baltrus” publisher, Maria Godovannaya, a former student of Jonas Mekas, the photographer Arūnas Kulikauskas, and the film critic Aleksey Artomonov. The participants will share their impressions and memories of their acquaintance with Jonas Mekas.
On Wednesday, 31 August, at 17.30, the books of Jonas Mekas’ writings “Poetry” and “Prose” will be presented in Kaunas, at the Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum. Julius Ziz, the compiler of the writings and a friend of Jonas Mekas, will take part in the presentation. Eugenijus Varkulevičius-Varkalis, the artist of the “Poetry” book, who worked closely with Jonas Mekas, creating joint performances and music for his films, will also be present.
The footage of Jonas Mekas reading his poetry in a phone box and singing the Papilian anthem after receiving an award at the French Consulate in New York filmed by the filmmaker Julius Ziz will be screened during the event. The event will be moderated by Agnė Cesiulė, a literary scholar and organiser of cultural activities.
The publishing house “Odilė“ continues the series of selected writings by Jonas Mekas with the second volume “Jonas Mekas. Proza” focused on the short prose texts of this artist. Authorized by his son Sebastian, a collection of selected works is compiled by Julius Ziz, the director, poet, friend and collaborator of Jonas Mekas. This volume contains some of the short texts in Lithuanian and English that have not been previously published.
More information on this book will be available here.