Joan Jonas: They Come to Us without a Word

U.S. Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy
Presented by MIT List Visual Arts Center
May 9 – November 22, 2015

Production | Exhibition Grant

For the five galleries of the U.S. Pavilion, Joan Jonas created a new complex of works, creating a multilayered ambiance, incorporating video, drawings, objects, and sound. Literature has always been an inspiration and source for Jonas, and the project for Venice extends her investigation into the work of Halldór Laxness and his writing on the spiritual aspects of nature, but focuses on other literary sources. Jonas received one of three Golden Lion special mentions in the biennale’s awards ceremony.

From July 20-22, 2015, Jonas presented a new performance she conceived and directed with newly composed music by her longtime sound collaborator, the American jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran. It took place over the course of three evenings at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale. Moran played live, accompanying Jonas for the performance. A portion of the piece consisted of re-edited video footage from the installation in the U.S. Pavilion.

To learn more, visit Joan Jonas at the 2015 Venice Biennale.


Image: Joan Jonas, They Come to Us without a Word, 2013-2015, production still, US Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, courtesy of the artist and MIT List Visual Arts Center.