My digital video diary: Jonas Mekas in conversation

Date 22. Februar 2014
Start 20:00 Uhr
End 21:00 Uhr
Event Skype talk (in English)
Place Gallery
With Jonas Mekas (film artist) and Reabe Edel (moderation)

Since the ‘60s Jonas Mekas has filmed his life and experiences in an autobiographical way, which he likes to describe as “notes”, “sketches” or “diary films”. A few years ago, he turned to digital photography, leaving behind his Bolex. In 2007, he produced short YouTube clips about his everyday life for the project “365 days” ­– and he hasn’t stopped uploading his digital chronicle of identity and life on the web since. In an interview for 3sat with Sven von Reden he said: “It’s all going forwards: from film to video to the internet. The possibilities are becoming more and more diverse. And I’m all for them.” We will speak to Jonas Mekas via Skype about his visual web diary on the web and will show three of his short films: “Okamoto Wrapes a Bottle of Sake“ (2011), “Autumn in Buchenhain“ (2013) and “A Conversation“ (2014).

Presenter: Rabea Edel

© Hollis Melton
© Hollis Melton

Jonas Mekas, born 1922, is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator known as the “godfather of American avant-garde cinema”. In 1944, Mekas left Lithuania because of war. En route, he and his brother were imprisoned in a labor camp in Germany. After the war, he studied philosophy at the University of Mainz and at the end of 1949, he emigrated with his brother to the U.S. where he discovered avant-garde film and began to film himself.

Jonas Mekas is the founder of the Anthology Film Archives in 1964, which remains the world’s most important repository of avant-garde films. He was a close collaborator with artists such as Andy Warhol, Nico, Allen Ginsberg, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Salvador Dalí, and fellow Lithuanian George Macunias and has directed and produced numerous projects of his own, ranging from narrative compositions (“Guns of the Trees”, 1962) to documentaries (“The Brig”, 1963) and ‘diaries’ (“Lost lost lost”, 1976).

Mekas’ work has been presented at venues such as the 51st Venice Biennale, Documenta 11, Berlinale, Serpentine Gallery, the State Hermitage Museum, the Pompidou and the PS1 Contemporary Art Center. In 2007, he opened the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center in Vilnius, Lithuania.

© Kirsten Becken
© Kirsten Becken

Rabea Edel, geboren 1982, moderiert und kuratiert regelmäßig Lesungen und Kulturveranstaltungen für Verlage, Kulturinstitutionen und Festivals. Seit 2013 ist Rabea Edel außerdem Chefredakteurin des Magazins „REVUE – Magazine for the Next Society“. Sie arbeitet in spartenübergreifenden Projekten mit Musikern und bildenden Künstlern zusammen, und lebt als freie Autorin von bisher zwei Romanen, Journalistin und Moderatorin in Berlin.