Joan Jonas: Performances/Video/Installation, curated by David Ross, University Art Museum (now UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), Berkeley, May 16–June 29, 1980
Joan Jonas’s very first retrospective, Joan Jonas: Performances/Video/Installation, was on view from May 16 to June 29, 1980, at the University Art Museum (now UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive). Curated by David Ross, the exhibition surveyed Jonas’s performance, video, and installation works, with a central focus on five performances: Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll (1972), Funnel (1974), Mirage (1976), Upside Down and Backwards (1979), and the world premiere of Double Lunar Dogs (1980).
The artist presented this series live in the museum, executing each performance twice. It began with Mirage, performed on May 16 and 18 in the museum’s main theater, which could accommodate no more than 199 people per performance. The other works were successively presented on Friday and Saturday nights in Gallery B of the museum: Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll was performed on May 23 and 24, Funnel on May 30 and 31, Upside Down and Backwards on June 6 and 7, and finally Double Lunar Dogs on June 20 and 21.
Gallery B also hosted installations from three of these performances, Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll, Funnel, and Upside Down and Backwards, as well as an installation of The Juniper Tree (1976), from May 23 to June 29. In addition to these installations, Gallery B also displayed photographic documentation of performances and a continuous screening of the artist’s videos, as well as a group of paintings and a suite of etchings that the artist produced while working at Crown Point Press in San Francisco.
On May 25, the museum presented “A Joan Jonas Video Program” in conjunction with the exhibition. For the event, Jonas discussed her most recent video works at that time, which included Disturbances (1974), Good Night, Good Morning (1976), I Want to Live in the Country (And Other Romances) (1976), and Anxious Automation (1971), a collaborative work with Richard Serra and Philip Glass. Edited by Douglas Crimp, Joan Jonas: Scripts and Descriptions 1968–1982 was published by the Berkeley Art Museum and the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in 1983. The catalogue includes scripts and descriptions of Jonas’s performances created between 1968 and 1982, as well as essays written by David Ross, James Elliott, Crimp, and Jonas.
Douglas Crimp, ed. Joan Jonas: Scripts and Descriptions 1968–1982. Berkeley: University Art Museum, University of California; Eindhoven: Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, 1983. Texts by Douglas Crimp, James Elliot, Joan Jonas, and David Ross.
Calendar Description, May 16, 1980
The University Art Museum will present a retrospective survey of Joan Jonas’s performance, video and other related works. Central to this survey will be the performance of five works, each to be presented twice. Jonas’s work is characterized by the use of highly evocative images and actions often integrating the use of video or mirror reflection to clarify, repeat or simply exaggerate elements of the performance.
The performance series begins achronologically with performances of the work Mirage (1976), presented in the Museum Theater tonight (see below) and on Sunday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m. The next four works will all be seen in Gallery B of the Museum. These works, Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll (1972), Funnel (1974), Upside Down and Backwards (1979), and the world premiere of Double Lunar Dogs, will be presented on successive Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 beginning on May 23.
Installations from the first three performances staged in Gallery B, along with a continuous retrospective screening of Jonas’s videotape works, photo-documentation of performances that will not be re-created in this series, as well as a group of paintings and a suite of etchings produced by the artist working at Crown Point Press will be on view in Gallery B from May 23 through June 29.
“Joan Jonas: Performance/Video/Installation.” May 16, 1980. Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive, University of California. http://archive.bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/joan_jonas_1980
Curator: David Ross
Installation Coordinator: Nina Hubbs
Technical Director: Barney Bailey
Technical Assistants: Bobbie Schalk-Condie, Bruce Gluck, and Adrienne Wong
Curatorial Secretary: Ann Leverton
Assistance for video portions of the performances: Babette Mangolte and William Farley
Student Assistants: Elsie Ritchie, Tessa Wilcox, Virginia Levie, Juliet Bayshore, and Janet Davey
Staff Photographer: Ben Blackwell
Associate Curator, Exhibitions: Susan Teicholz
Business Manager: Anne Aaboe
- Joan Jonas, Mirage (1976), Museum Theater, May 16 and May 18, 1980. (Performance Documentation). Event listing: http://archive.bampfa.berkeley.edu/film/FN0931
- Joan Jonas, Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll (1972), Gallery B, May 23 and 24, 1980, (Performance Documentation) (Installation View)
- Joan Jonas, Funnel (1974), Gallery B, May 30 and 31, 1980. (Performance Documentation) (Installation View of Set)
- Joan Jonas, Upside Down and Backwards (1979), Gallery B, June 6 and 7, 1980 (Installation View of Set)
- Joan Jonas, Double Lunar Dogs (1980), Gallery B, June 20 and 21, 1980 (rescheduled from June 13 and 14) (premiere performance) (Installation Views of Set)
- Joan Jonas Video Program, May 25, 1980: Anxious Automation, Disturbances, Good Night Good Morning, I Want to Live in the Country (and Other Romances). Event listing: http://archive.bampfa.berkeley.edu/film/FN0947
- Joan Jonas on Joan Jonas: Performance/Video/Installation, August 2020
- Joan Jonas on Organic Honey, October 2018
- Joan Jonas on Organic Honey Installations, December 2020
- Interview with Douglas Crimp (art historian, critic and curator in the fields of postmodern theory and art, dance, film, queer, and feminist theory), March 2019
- Interview with Babette Mangolte (French-American experimental filmmaker and photographer based in New York), September 2020
- Interview with David Ross (chair of the MFA Practice program at the School of Visual Arts, New York), June 2019