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JOAN JONAS - EARLY WORKS
26 MAY 2019
Joan Jonas is a central figure in the performance art movement of the mid-1960s. In works that examined space and perceptual phenomena, she merged elements of dance, modern theater, the conventions of Japanese Noh and Kabuki theater, and the visual arts.
Jonas' investigation of subjectivity and objectivity is articulated through an idiosyncratic, personal vocabulary of ritualized gesture and self-examination. Often performing in masks, veils, or costumes, Jonas uses disguise and masquerade to study the personal and cultural semiotics of female gesture and symbols. The layering of mirrors and mirrored images is one of her most powerful metaphorical devices. Among Jonas' signature formal strategies are the manipulation of theatrical and video space, the use of drawing to add a rich density of texture and content, and objects that convey meaning as cultural icons, archetypes and symbols. The overlap of mirrors and reflected images is one of its most remarkable and presences in your work.

In relation with the exhibition "Joan Jonas" at the Serralves Museum, the performing arts program will present the reconfigurations of the Mirror Check (1970) and Mirror Piece I & II: Reconstrution (1969/2018-19), at the Serralves Park and Auditorium, in the context of the inauguration and in the XI Edition of the Serralves in Festival.

Mirror Piece I & II was first performed in the program BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights, curated by Catherine Wood, Senior Curator of International Art (Performance), Isabelle Maidment, Assistant Curator of Performance, and Andrea Lissoni, Senior Curator of International Art (Film), 16-25 Mar, 2018, Tate Modern.
Mirror Piece I & II and Mirror Check reconstruction and presentation at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is realized by Joan Jonas together with Nefeli Skarma.
Mirror Check is performed by Catarina Marcos and Mirror Piece I & II is performed by Catarina Marcos, Catarina Vilar Marques, Diana Oliveira Vieira, Douglas Melo, Guilherme de Sousa, Helena Martos, Jessica Guez, Josefa Pereira da Silva, Leonor Mendes, Liliana Oliveira, Magda Almeida, Sancha Meca Castro, Sara Santervás, Teresa Queirós and Valentina Parravicini.


Image: Joan Jonas, Mirror Piece I, 1969, performance, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 1969. Photo by Joan Jonas  © 2019 Joan Jonas

Auditorium and Serralves Park (6pm)
Mirror Piece II was one of the first in a series of time-based works that established Jonas as a leading figure in the field of performance art.
In this piece, performers carry out a series of carefully choreographed actions with mirrors and glass. The size and weight of the props mean that the performers’ movements have to be slow and careful. The constant danger that the mirrors will break creates a sense of anxiety among the spectators. The mirrors fragment the space, the audience, and the performers. 
Library of Museum of Contemporary Art (7pm)
Joan Jonas’s Mirror Check — performed for the first time in 1970 and which consolidates the later Mirror Pieces — marks an important theoretical and artistic turning point for the artist as she transitioned from using mirrors as media in her sculptures to using it as an instrument in her performance. 
The performer meticulously observes and examines the body through the mirror, as an object and agent, exploring different angles and perspectives.
  • Schedule18h00 - 19h30
  • Days26 MAY 2019

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Rua D. João de Castro, 210
4150-417 Porto Portugal
41º9'35.40"N
8º39'35.35"W
Serralves