As part of the exhibition “…Poetry?” agnès b. collection (until January 22, 2023 at La Fab.) and the centenary Jonas Mekas 100! La Fab is pleased to present an afternoon dedicated to the poetry of Jonas Mekas.
Artists: Jackie Raynal, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Fox Magal
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.
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.
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 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.
Barbican presents a landmark work “Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania” (1972; 16mm) from the filmmaking pioneer Jonas Mekas with an introduction by curator Herb Shellenberger and poetry reading by Paulina Pukytė.
Jonas Mekas always celebrated the poetry of film. Marie Menken was his favorite film poet. In this screening we will present the select films of Menken and Mekas and have the discussion about Menken’s influence on Mekas’ film style and their continuous friendship. The belief that filmmaking is just another way of taking notes shared by both artists will be a premise for the discussion. Marie Menken’s Glimpses of the Garden (1957), Notebook (1962) and Lights (1966) alongside Mekas’ Notes on the Circus (1966) and Cassis (1966) will be screened.
The post-screening discussion will follow. Select Mekas’ texts on Marie Menken will be exposed and some of his poems will be read.
Experimental poetry translation workshop to translate Jonas Mekas’ poetry into French, public poetry readings and discussions, musical evenings, followed by the publication at the end of the project.
Participants: Stéphane Bouquet (writer, poet and translator, scriptwriter and film critic), Jean-Baptiste Cabaud (poet and translator), Roxana Hashemi (poet and translator), Anne Portugal (poet and translator), Ainis Selena (translator), Marielle Vitureau (author, translator, correspondent for Radio France Internationale and Courrier international in the Baltic States).
On 17 September, 15:30 there will be a public presentation of the “Translating Mekas” project and bilingual reading at the Centre international de poésie, Marseille.
On 18 September, 17:00 there will be an open-air bilingual reading of the first translated poems at the Camargo Foundation, Cassis.
On 18 September, 18:30 there will be a concert “More music for Jonas” by Arturas Bumšteinas with the ensemble C. Barré at the Camargo Foundation, Cassis.
An afternoon of screenings, readings and discussion to mark the centenary of the hugely influential Lithuanian filmmaker, poet, curator, archivist, diarist and cross-cultural documentarian.
This afternoon will celebrate his friendly, creative and informal ways of being in art and the world, showing Mekas’ own short films and his 1997 documentary Letters from Nowhere alongside readings and reflection from Lithuanian poet Rimas Uzgiris and London’s own Stephen Watts.
2pm Short Films and Videos: 1966-2017 (curated by Herb Schellenberger)