Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane brings together a selection of works by two renowned artists spanning the courses of their careers. Designed to function as two solo exhibitions staged in a single space at the same time, this exhibition offers viewers an opportunity to investigate the development of each artist's practice. Complementary and shared aspects of Gina Pane's and Joan Jonas' works are highlighted, as are the differences that characterize each artist's body of work.
Born in the mid-1930s, Jonas and Pane were proto-Feminists, developing significant careers in advance of social movements that advocated for attention and recognition of work by women. Both artists blazed early trails in the field of performance art, and worked multidisciplinarily, making sculptures, drawings, installations, film, and video in addition to live actions.
Joan Jonas' (b. 1936, New York City) experiments with video are among the earliest and most enduring investigations of that medium. Jonas owned one of the first Sony PortaPak video recorders in the United States, which she acquired on a trip to Japan in 1970. In early video works like Glass Puzzle (1973) and Good Night Good Morning (1976), Jonas uses this recording device as a tool to capture performative actions that articulate spaces of representation. In these performances-for-the-camera, viewers are offered an intimate view of the artist's creative process. Jonas' fluid spatial engagement with moving images and the development of video installation environments are hallmarks of her work. This exhibition features Jonas' most recent video installation, the multi-channel Reading Dante III (2010).
Gina Pane's (b. 1939, Biarritz – d. 1990, Paris) early works in which she was photographed engaging in interventions in pastoral landscapes presaged her later performance works – or as the artist referred to them in her native French, actions – that brought her more widespread acclaim. Pane is perhaps best known for actions in which she wounded herself and drew blood, an event tempered by the thoughtful and critical contexts she established within each performance. Her unique constats d'action are collages of photographic images, and occasionally drawings or notations, that function like storyboards of her performances. Pane saw these as autonomous works; they extend the life of her actions and communicate their sensibilities. Opposed to the oversimplification of her work into mere spectacle, Pane's final works before her untimely death – the Partitions – shift her works’ physical engagements back to her viewers. Parallel Practices marks the first comprehensive exhibition of Gina Pane's work in the United States.
Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue that explores the intersections of Jonas' and Pane's practices. It includes texts by art historians Dr. Barbara Clausen, Élisabeth Lebovici, and Anne Tronche, as well as a text by the exhibition's curator, Dean Daderko. Significantly, this publication is among the first considerations of Pane's work to be published in English, and includes translations of crucial texts by the artist. Designed by AHL&CO, the catalogue features a checklist of works included in the exhibition, full-color reproductions and installation views of the CAMH exhibition, biographies of the artists, and a bibliography of related readings. The catalogue will be distributed by Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P.).