Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land
June 7, 2021
Closed captions are available by clicking the “CC” button on the video.
Moving Off the Land, created and performed by Joan Jonas, premiered in the US at Danspace Project in June, 2018. The video above is an excerpt of the full evening length work.
After over 40 years, performance and video innovator Joan Jonas returned to Danspace Project in 2018 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, Italo Calvino’s The Aquatic Uncle, and the writings of Rachel Carson.
Created and performed by: Joan Jonas
Music composed and performed by: Ikue Mori
Lighting design by: Jan Kroeze
Video technician: David Sherman
Additional underwater footage: David Gruber