Friday August 28, 7:00pm
Jonas Mekas

365 Day Project: Part Eight “August”
artist in person – pizza break at mid-point!
admission $6 – Final Free-for-Member Event of the 2014-15 season

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Still from Day 222 (from “365 Day Project”, Jonas Mekas) – image courtesy of the artist

Microscope welcomes Jonas Mekas back to the gallery for the final summer installment of the ongoing screening premiere of his “365 Day Project”. In his August diaries, Mekas enjoys the hot days of summer swinging on a hammock in Montauk, watching an early morning rain in Japan, eating wild strawberries in Paris and back home at Sunny’s in Red Hook.

Again, music is everywhere in Mekas’ world  from the streets of Provence to Williamsburg, Brooklyn as well in the lobby of Anthology Film Archives and a formal violin recital featuring his then teenage son Sebastian. Other days feature clandestine tapings of Marcel Proust’s hangout in Paris and a Joseph Cornell exhibit, discussions about LOVE and a day when Mekas has for the first time “nothing to give”. The month also includes Gozo Yoshimasu at work, an interview with Peter Kubelka and Mekas on old battles of the avant-garde, a drive with Lee Radziwill, and more jokes with Phong.

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).

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Still from Day 229 (from “365 Day Project”, Jonas Mekas) – image courtesy of the artist

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.

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Stills from Day 219 and Day 237 (from “365 Day Project”, Jonas Mekas) – images courtesy of the artist

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