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Jonas Mekas: Open Archives Presale



Unlock the World of Jonas Mekas:

‘Jonas Mekas: Open Archive’ Presale is Now Open!


The Monira Foundation presents “Jonas Mekas: Open Archive,” a comprehensive exhibition catalog that showcases the remarkable archive of filmmaker Jonas Mekas. Jonas Mekas’s diverse and impactful legacy within the avant-garde film community of New York City and beyond has garnered widespread admiration, particularly among emerging artists. Renowned for his multifaceted roles as a poet, writer, publisher, and cultural advocate, Mekas left an indelible mark on the realms of film culture and artistic expression. Since his passing in 2019, a deeper understanding of his subtle advocacies and support for creatives has gradually surfaced. In the context of the contemporary fear of technology’s cold and rapid advancements, Mekas’s unique synthesis of life and work assumes a significant relevance, inviting reflection on the interplay between speed and slowness in the arts and life. Through an exploration of Mekas’s visionary contributions, we are prompted to consider the multifaceted nature of artistic expression and its vital role in fostering a deeper understanding of human experience and culture.


Mekas’s films, characterized by an unpredictable essence, intertwine elements of transcendental poetry, reflective of his status as an immigrant, and an embrace of both the speed and slowness of time. This nuanced approach, evident in his mediation with jump cuts and fleeting images, offers an insightful portrayal of intimate moments and resonates with a profound sense of cultural pluralism. Mekas’s profound exploration of the in-between space, as highlighted by his “Anti-100 Years of Cinema Manifesto” (1996), underlines his commitment to celebrating the personal and the intangible within the realm of art. His enduring legacy, exemplified by the replication of his live/workspace at Mana Contemporary under the Monira Foundation’s supervision, stands as a testament to his holistic approach to creativity and the lasting impact of his vibrant and inclusive artistic environment.


This publication offers an exploration of Mekas’ life and work, featuring essays by Ysabel Pinyol Blasi, Monira Foundation Executive Director, and Phong H. Bui, writer, independent curator, and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail. The essays delve into various facets of his creative journey including the recurring motifs in Mekas’s films, his exploration of place, and his use of diverse media.


In addition, the catalog features an extensive selection of artworks that were released for the Open Archive program over a two-year period during the pandemic. This curated collection, carefully chosen by Sebastian Mekas, serves to illuminate the various facets of Jonas’ work. By presenting these diverse works side by side, the publication encourages readers to uncover new connections and gain deeper insight into the breadth of Jonas Mekas’ artistic output.


Pre-sale price: $40

Retail price: $55

Pre-order now. This title will ship starting March 15, 2024.


Note: The exhibition “Jonas Mekas: Open Archive” will be held from February 24, 2023, to February 23, 2024, at the Monira Foundation in Chicago, IL.