Joan Jonas: The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things
Yvon Lambert Gallery is pleased to present The Shape, The Scent, The
Feel of Things, a five channel video installation by seminal video and performance artist Joan Jonas. This
piece is based on Joan Jonas’ recent site specific work, presented as a performance at Dia:Beacon (New
York) in October 2005, and repeated in October 2006. Also included in the exhibition is a new My New
Theater project, part of an ongoing series of video objects.
The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things is a response to German art historian Aby Warburg’s essay about his
visit to the American Southwest at the end of the nineteenth century. This five channel video installation
continues the artist’s investigation of the performing body and its interaction with media and space,
transformed through drawings, photography, video projections, sound, music, movement and found objects. It
features live performances by the jazz musician Jason Moran, who composed new music for this collaborative
work. As an installation, it was exhibited at the Renaissance Society in Chicago and John Hansard Gallery in
Southampton, U.K. in 2004 as a new work in progress, and most recently in 2006 at Galerie Yvon Lambert,
Paris, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, and Castello di Rivoli, Italy.
Jonas began working on the My New Theater project in 1997 out of the desire to represent performance
without a performer’s physical presence. These objects are considered to be portable video theaters in
miniature. The shape is reminiscent of the paper cones in Funnel (1974) and the tin cones of Mirage (1976),
which Jonas used in various ways, including as an instrument to channel and direct sound to the audience.
This is the sixth of five previous variations of the My New Theaters.
Jonas has been awarded fellowships and grants for choreography, video, and visual arts from the National
Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the CAT Fund, the Artist TV
Lab at WNET/13 (New York City), the Television Workshop at WXX1 (Rochester), and the Deutsche
Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) in Germany. Jonas has received the Hyogo Prefecture Museum of
Modern Art Prize at the Tokyo International Video Art Festival, the Polaroid Award for Video, and the American
Film Institute Maya Deren Award for Video.
Joans has had major retrospectives at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1994), and Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
Germany (2000). The artist has been represented in Documenta V, VI, VII, Kassel, Germany (2002). She was
commissioned to develop an installation and a subsequent performance entitled, Lines in the Sand for
Documenta XI. It was recreated at the Tate Modern in London, and the Kitchen in New York. In 2004, the
Queens Museum of Art presented “Joan Jonas: Five Works”, the first major exhibition of Jonas’s work by a
New York museum. Forthcoming exhibitions include a survey of installation works at the Museum of Modern
Art in Barcelona as well as a new performance piece (opens September 19, 2007). Jonas is included in
“WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (March 4 – July 16, 2007). In
July in 2007 she will conduct a workshop at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como Italy.