Joan Jonas at the Venice Biennale

Event Collateral
Illustration

The MIT List Visual Arts Center—contemporary art museum meet creative laboratory—presents Joan Jonas as the U.S. representative at La Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art Exhibition. The List Visual Arts Center director and exhibition commissioner sought to celebrate Joan Jonas and her installation at the U.S. Pavilion with an evening of cocktails, dinner, and dancing at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta in Venice. This event needed an invitation that embraces the artist's breadth of work, the Venetian landscape, and contemporary aesthetic.

Event Collateral, Illustration

Joan Jonas at the
Venice Biennale

The MIT List Visual Arts Center—contemporary art museum meet creative laboratory—presents Joan Jonas as the U.S. representative at La Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art Exhibition. The List Visual Arts Center director and exhibition commissioner sought to celebrate Joan Jonas and her installation at the U.S. Pavilion with an evening of cocktails, dinner, and dancing at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta in Venice. This event needed an invitation that embraces the artist's breadth of work, the Venetian landscape, and contemporary aesthetic.

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Invitation

From disguising herself before the camera to revolving mirrors on the audience, Joan Jonas utilizes doubling and reflection into metaphors for the thin veil between subjective and objective vision and the loss of set identities. Some of her earliest performances use mirrors to engage audiences and mobilize them as constitutive forces in her work. This reoccurring motif in her art informs the decision to use reflective paper and challenge the recipient as she does with her audience.

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Exhibition

Joan Jonas presented her multimedia installation at the U.S. Pavilion called "They Come to Us without a Word." The exhibition evolved out of an earlier work, "Reanimation" (2010), inspired by nordic literature and oral tradition depicting the natural world and its fragility. Jonas designed freestanding rippled mirrors for each room, handcrafted in Murano, Italy, are used and arranged to transform the installation space into the realm of performance on stage.

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We are Haunted

There are two video projections in each of the Pavilion four rooms—one presenting the room's central motif and the other the ghost narrative, a continuous thread running through the exhibition spaces.

Jonas developed the videos in New York in winter 2015, during a series of workshops with children ranging in age from five to 16 performing against video backdrops of landscapes shot by Jonas, mostly in Nova Scotia, Canada, Brooklyn, and New York.

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Celebration

Built along the Grand Canal in the 15th century, the Palazzo Pisani Moretta played the backdrop to Joan Jonas's celebration of her triumphal exhibition, "They Come to Us without a Word." For more than five decades, Joan Jonas continues to be groundbreaking in her performance art and multimedia installations.

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Year

2015

Role

Art Director
Graphic Designer

Client

MIT List Visual Arts Center

Credits

Print Production by Puritan Press Inc.
Performance + Installation by Joan Jonas.
Product Photos by Cody O’Loughlin.
Installation Photos by Moira Ricci.

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