Carol Mersereau interviewed by Barbara Clausen and Kristin Poor, September 10, 2020.
Carol Mersereau worked as an artist and photographer in New York City. This interview focuses on Mersereau’s photographs of Joan Jonas’s performances in the early seventies.
- “Carol Mersereau interviewed by Barbara Clausen and Kristin Poor, September 10, 2020 (Interview Transcript).” Joan Jonas Knowledge Base, Artist Archives Initiative, 2021.
The interview begins with Mersereau describing how she first became aware of Jonas by attending her 1970 performances Choreomania and Delay Delay, explaining that she took photos as a member of the audience and showed them to Jonas [00:00–02:40]. From here, Mersereau speaks about the environment and context of 1970s downtown New York City in which she first met Jonas [02:42–03:55]. She goes on to talk about how she viewed Jonas’s early performances as very unusual and how they sparked her imagination. She discusses how her friend, Linda Patton, consistently performed in Jonas’s work and how Patton was also the person working on the camera before Babette Mangolte [03:56–06:15]. Moving on, Clausen asks Mersereau about her impression of Jonas’s use of media in her performance of Organic Honey and if this was something that also influenced the way she photographed Jonas’s work. Additionally Clausen asks if Mersereau was able to watch the rehearsals of these Organic Honey performances and if Jonas gave her any instructions [06:16–09:29]. Poor then has Mersereau go into detail about the photographs she took of Jonas dressed as Organic Honey during a rehearsal in Jonas’s loft. Mersereau mentions her appreciation of Jonas’s feminism and how it shows up in her work through imagery [09:30–13:13]. On a quick note, Poor inquires Mersereau about how she would select the images after a performance [13:14–13:40]. Next, Mersereau speaks about the afterlife of her images and what these photographs may mean for her today [13:55–18:44]. The interview ends with Mersereau recommending different people the JJKB should interview and recounting the different performances she photographed from 1970 to 1975 [18:45–23:09].