Valda’s Solo from the film Lives of Performers (1972), Yvonne Rainer. Photo: Babette Mangolte. Courtesy of The Getty Research Institute.
Lives of Performers by Yvonne Rainer, USA, 1972, 90 min, English
Wind, Joan Jonas, USA, 1968, 5.37 min, Silent
Duet, Joan Jonas, USA, 1968, 4.25 min. English
Lives of Performers, the first feature film by the choreographer and co-founder of the Judson Dance Theater Yvonne Rainer, explores the overlapping and at times, disjunctive languages of cinema and performance. Developed from a dance performance choreographed by Rainer, it plays with generic conventions of melodrama to explore the dilemmas of women struggling to define themselves in relation to masculinist scripts.
Wind is a 1968 performance film. Cutting between snowy fields and a raw seashore, Jonas focuses on a group of performers moving through a windswept landscape. The 16mm film — silent, black and white, jerky, and sped-up — evokes early cinema, while its content locates it in the spare minimalism of the late 1960s.
Duet is a classic early video performance. In this seminal exploration of the phenomenology of video as a mirror and as "reality," Jonas, face-to-face with her own recorded image, performs a duet with herself.
This sceening is part of the Education and Public Programme of Joan Jonas: They Come to Us without a Word.
Mark Nash is an independent curator and writer, and, until recently, Professor and Head of Department, Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London. Currently he is at NTU CCA Singapore and the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University as Visiting Associate Professor. Nash was Director of Fine Art Research at Central Saint Martins and has been a senior lecturer in Film History and Theory at the University of East London, and visiting lecturer at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and the MA in Film Curating at Birkbeck University of London.
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