Friday July 31, 7:00pm
Jonas Mekas
Day Project: Part Seven “July”
artist in person – pizza break at mid-point
admission $6 – free for Members

DAY185_JULY 4TH of july_two
Still from Day 185 (July 4th Fireworks), Jonas Mekas, 2007 – image courtesy of the artist

An Art in America Weekly Pick

Jonas Mekas returns to Microscope for the screening premiere of “July” from his “365 Day Project”. Mekas starts off the month with his thoughts on reaching the milestone half-way mark of his 2007 video diary, then allows us to accompany him on his daily journey’s in New York – from Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade to a Norah Jones concert in Bryant Park to Günter Grass’ book signing at the Lower East Side nightclub the Box, as well to flashbacks on summers past with backyard Karaoke in Cape Cod, a headstand contest in Montauk between Mekas and Peter Beard, and traveling Venice with Peter Kubelka. Betty Friedan, agnes b, Nam June Paik, Jeanne Liotta, Norman Mailer, the Cinémathèque Francaise and the New York City fireworks (as viewed from Brooklyn) also make appearances.
Running time: approx. 3 hours

Audience may enter and exit at any time.

About 365 Day Project

“Every day of the year 2007 I placed on my website one new video usually about three to ten minutes in length.  By the time the project ended, I had made 38 hours of completed video works, the equivalent of twenty feature films… It was the most challenging undertaking I had ever done. The videos deal with my life in Brooklyn and my many travels of that year. It’s personal and anthropological (impersonal) at the same time.  During my travels I relied a lot on technical and other help from The Gang (Benn Northover, Sebastian Mekas — I travel most of the time with The Gang) and Elle Burchill was always ready at my Brooklyn station. You’ll see a lot of me and my friends, various daily activities, gettings together, a lot of music, and a lot of events around New York and Europe that year. The main challenge was to record it and share it immediately with many friends all over the world. Today I still do the same, but not daily, with less pressure, on my website” – Jonas Mekas
The videos in the “365 Day Project” were made available for download and playable on smartphones at a time when Facebook had just been made publicly accessible, Youtube had just been acquired by Google, and the first iPhone was about to be released later that year. The videos range from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
Selections from the “365 Day Project” is currently on view at the Internet Pavillion, Venice Italy through November 22. The work  has previously been presented in its complete form as an installation (playing on 12 or 52 monitors) at ZKM, Karlsruhe (Germany); Hermitage, St. Petersburg (Russia); galerie du jour, Paris (France) and 2B Gallery, Budapest (Hungary).

DAY 204

Still from Day 204 (headstand contest between Mekas and Peter Beard), Jonas Mekas, 2007

Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in Semeniškiai, Lithuania and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Mekas was brought to the US along with his brother Adolfas in 1949 by the UN Refugee Organization. Within weeks, Mekas borrowed money to buy his first Bolex camera and began to record brief moments of his life. Mekas is now among the most influential makers of avant-garde film and a master of the diaristic form.

His works are shown regularly in the US and internationally including recent solo exhibitions at KZM Karlsruhe, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Stadmuseum Weisbaden in Germany; Serpentine Gallery, London, UK; Centre Pompidou, Paris; James Fuentes Gallery, NY; DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; MUAC, Mexico City; Krinzinger Projekte Vienna; National Museum of Art, Washington, DC. Mekas’ works have also previously exhibited at Moderna Museet, Stockholm; MoMA PS1, Queens; Documenta, Kassel, Galerie Du Jour, Paris; Venice Biennale, Venice; among many others.

Mekas has also published more than 20 books of prose and poetry, which have been translated into over 12 languages. He was co-founder of the influential Film Culture magazine and wrote his  “Movie Journal” column at the Village Voice for 20 years. He also founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative in 1962, and in 1964 the Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives. Both are still operating under the original mission today.

DAY208_July 27TH_namjunepaik

Still from Day 208(Nam June Paik), Jonas Mekas, 2007 – all images courtesy of the artist

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