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Joan Jonas

Biography

Video used in Joan Jonas’s work is integrated into a broader concept of performance that encompasses live action, video presentations of this action and scenic objects. In her performance, Jonas mixes props, costumes, and masks into the live action together with video in order to create spaces that define a theatrical approach. The videotapes that she integrates into these performances and spaces are not only elements of a multimedia presentation, they are also individually conceived video works that stand alone and are shown independently from the performance. In using the technical requirements of the live medium, Jonas focuses on having immediate control over her own image and its presentation on the monitor. In Vertical Roll (1972, USA), she deliberately interferes with the double exposure of the image on the monitor, which at the same time is filmed by a video camera. The video signal of the recorded image presented on the monitor is maladjusted to make the image field appear to run vertically through the frame. This presentation of electronic line processing is concurrently recorded by a stable video camera.