2015, Thu, Nov 26

Jonas Mekas – TIME

Jonas Mekas | photo: Hollis Melton

Jonas Mekas | photo: Hollis Melton

In the first edition of the series “Dictionary of Now” Jonas Mekas in a conversation with Bernd Scherer, publisher Anne König, and media scientist Christian Hiller will explore the question of how historiography and the subjective “now” can be set in relation to one another.

In the first edition of the series Dictionary of Now Jonas Mekas in a conversation with Bernd Scherer, publisher Anne König, and media scientist Christian Hiller will explore the question of how historiography and the subjective “now” can be set in relation to one another.

From the 1940s on, Mekas has documented his own life and that of his friends and colleagues on the New York art and film scenes, with a camera, in diaries, poems, songs, and programmatic texts, and has linked them with essential questions of subjective and social reality. The form of film diaries he decisively shaped allows him to create montages of personal, social, and political moments.

Mekas was born in 1922 in Lithuania and arrested by the Nazis in 1944. After a five-year odyssey through displaced-person camps in postwar Germany, he immigrated to the United States in 1949. In New York, he bought his first camera and met personalities such as Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Andy Warhol, George Maciunas, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, and Susan Sontag. As the editor of Film Culture magazine and founder of the Anthology Film Archives he influenced the American avant-garde cinema movement.

With excerpts from Mekas’s films Walden: Diaries, Notes, and Sketches (1969), Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972), Lost Lost Lost (1976), and Outtakes from the Life of a Happy Man (2012).

For the 365 Day Project, Jonas Mekas posted one short film on the Internet each day for a year. The 365 films can be viewed at the entrance to the Auditorium on twelve monitors from 2015, November 26 to 29.

In the framework of 100 Years of Now