Jonas Mekas

Farewell to Soho, 1967-2004

Courtesy of Jonas Mekas Studio ©


Farewell to Soho consists of a quartet of videos which is my declaration of love to Soho and also my Farewell to it. In 1967 I was the founding member of the first Soho co-operative building created by George Maciunas, the father of Soho, on 80 Wooster Street. These four videos – they can be viewed individually or as an installation on four monitors – give glimpses of how Soho looked in its early years and how it changed; how through the years it changed from the artists’ utopia into a business utopia. At the same time this video quartet is my elegy to Soho – its lofts, its streets, people, and to George himself who created this dream that radically transformed downtown New York, that lasted for a while, and then it was gone, I mean, it became just another part of the city called New York. I moved out of Soho on January 15. 2004.

– J. M.


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Jonas Mekas was drawn to the four-channel installation format – his “quartets,” as he called them – in the early 2000s as he began to explore multi-monitor presentations of materials from his vast film and video archives. They have been exhibited at galleries and museums around the world, including the New Museum; the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and the MMCA, Seoul.
A new quartet will be shown each week of October.