Joan Jonas on Organic Honey installations, interviewed by Barbara Clausen and Kristin Poor, December 22, 2020.
- “Joan Jonas on Organic Honey installations, interviewed by Barbara Clausen and Kristin Poor, December 22, 2020 (Interview Transcript).” Joan Jonas Knowledge Base, Artist Archives Initiative, 2021.
The interview begins with Jonas speaking about the evolution of Organic Honey’s components and installations. She cites her 1980 retrospective in Berkeley, California, as an example of how she began to think about what she would leave behind in an exhibition space after a performance of the work [00:00–03:29]. This conversation develops into Jonas explaining her ideas about the installation and how she thought of the set up for Organic Honey as a movie set [03:30–05:21]. She then takes us through the process of putting together the installation for the Stedelijk exhibition, curated by Dorine Mignot. She addresses the division of the materials related to Organic Honey among different groups [05:26–12:04]. The artist delves into how she subdivided materials (such as the objects on the table and the drawings on the wall) around the space and how she would describe the atmosphere of the installation [12:06–19:28]. Next Jonas explains why she decided to combine items from her Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy performance and Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll into one installation since both those pieces are different. She considers the Organic Honey “project,” as she calls it, to be one thing [19:29–21:06]. Touching on the Stedelijk exhibition, Jonas talks about how it functioned as a way to preserve a moment while also bringing the work into the present moment. She explains that eventually her works reach a certain point where she feels they do not need to be worked on anymore [21:07–25:44]. Getting into technical details, Jonas speaks a bit about the importance of the circuit breakers and closed circuit cameras in relation to both the installation and the performance [25:44–29:59; 32:16–33:58]. This develops into a discussion about sound and lighting for the installation [30:00–32:14]. She also talks about her blackboard and paper drawings and the locations of the three live cameras in the installation [33:59–38:27]. The interview then shifts to discussions of subsequent work and how the development of ideas and concepts from Organic Honey were carried over, citing Vertical Roll, Glass Puzzle, Funnel and Stage Sets as examples [38:47–42:45]. Next, Jonas speaks about how her trip to Japan and seeing Noh theater influenced her work and elements of Organic Honey [42:46–44:51]. Jonas then speaks about the integration of documentation into the installation, with particular reference to the Stedelijk installation [44:56–50:16]. The interview ends with Jonas speaking about the conservation of the installation and her intentions for future exhibition of the work, referencing the conservation project from the Stedelijk Museum [50:22–54:06].