Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land (U.S. premiere) – Danspace Project
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Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land (U.S. premiere)

Photo: Elísabet Davíðsdóttir. Courtesy Joan Jonas and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York/Rome.
Photo: Elísabet Davíðsdóttir. Courtesy Joan Jonas and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York/Rome.

After over 40 years, performance and video innovator Joan Jonas returns to Danspace Project with an immersive lecture-performance drawing from literature, mythology, and the artist’s collections of sketches and notes on the sea.

Moving Off the Land explores “the ocean as a poetic, totemic, and natural entity, as a life source and home to a universe of beings.” Jonas’s video, performance, and installation works often exist in transit, and are translated and restaged into other mediums.

Jonas uses herself as a screen and as a surface. Video footage of underwater scenes from Jean Painlevé’s black-and-white reels of sea creatures to shots of aquariums is poetically and associatively intersected with excerpts from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Sy Montgomery’s Soul of an Octopus, and Italo Calvino’s The Aquatic Uncle.