Glass Puzzle

Joan Jonas

New York, USA, 1936
  • Date: 
  • Edition/serial number: 
    Unique work
  • Media description: 
    Two-channel video (Betacam SP and DVD) shown in a projection (b/w, sound, 27'17'') and a TV monitor (colour, silent, 13'), a wooden desk, metal rings, a top, a rattle and a stereoscope
  • Category: 
    Installation, Performance, Video
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

Joan Jonas is part of a generation of woman artists who used video and the concept of process as an instrument for investigating ways of representing the body and identity. This installation includes two video channels, one of which projects the recording of a performance by the artist in 1973, while the other shows unused footage from that first recording on a monitor. A context is created for both in the exhibition room by the inclusion of a number of three-dimensional elements similar to those used on the original set, which together suggest a new, negotiable sculptural space. As a resource for the staging of the piece, the artist used Ernest J. Bellocq’s turn of the century photographs of New Orleans prostitutes. Alongside performer Lois Lane, Jonas presents choreographic interpretations of evocative artificial poses that reference the idea of ritual, the double and the narcissistic body. This is a hugely important piece in the history of video, which, by connecting with other media such as dance, helps redefine the sculptural in dialogue with the image in movement, while at the same time relating to the concerns of feminism.

Lola Hinojosa