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Joan Jonas in "Fiction"

In Sweden, pioneering artist Joan Jonas performs at both Umeå Jazzfestival with musician Jason Moran, and at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, where she reconfigures her 1969 performance Mirror Piece.

Working in performance, video, installation, sculpture, and drawing, Jonas finds inspiration in mythic stories, investing texts from the past with the politics of the present. Wearing masks and drawing while performing on stage, Jonas disrupts the conventions of theatrical storytelling to emphasize potent symbols and critical self-awareness.

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Joan Jonas

A pioneer of performance and video art, Joan Jonas works in video, installation, sculpture, and drawing, often collaborating with musicians and dancers to realize improvisational works that are equally at home in the museum gallery and on the theatrical stage. Drawing on mythic stories from various cultures, Jonas invests texts from the past with the politics of the present. By wearing masks in some works, and drawing while performing on stage in others, she disrupts the conventions of theatrical storytelling to emphasize potent symbols and critical self-awareness. From masquerading in disguise before the camera to turning mirrors on the audience, she turns doubling and reflection into metaphors for the tenuous divide between subjective and objective vision, and the loss of fixed identities.

“I’m aware of what could be read into things. I don’t like to talk about the symbolism, it puts too much meaning into it. I like it to be what it is in a very concrete way.”

Joan Jonas

Joan Jonas

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Joan Jonas

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