Jonas Mekas Pioneers a New Digital Revolution @ www.jonasmekas.com

Maya Stendhal Gallery

November 9, 2006

Jonas Mekas Pioneers a New Digital Revolution @ http://www.jonasmekas.com, short films to view in I-pods

Exhibition of Recent Work: Collection of 40 short films

Web Project of 365 Films @ Maya Stendhal Gallery, Chelsea, New York

Nov. 9 – Feb. 10, 2007

Opening Reception: Thursday, Nov. 9, 6pm – 9pm

Maya Stendhal Gallery proudly presents Www.JonasMekas.Com-Recent Work; a collection of 40 short films created and curated by avant-garde filmmaker, artist, poet, and archivist Jonas Mekas. After six decades of work, this 84-year-old artist has become internationally renowned for his deeply personal films. With his unique diaristic approach, Mekas continues to captivate viewers while adopting new methods of technology, encouraging and contributing to the emergence of American Independent Cinema. In addition to this elaborate cinematic installation, all 40 short films will be simultaneously released for download onto computers or multi-media devices ( I pods ) at http://www.jonasmekas.com. According to Mekas, this will be, “…one of the most exciting venues for independently working film and video makers that has become available.”

A corresponding Web project of 365 short films will also be launched beginning January 1, 2007. Mekas will release the films, one for each day of the year, through http://www.jonasmekas.com. Inspired by a poet writing a poem each day of the year for his lover, he will create a similarly poetic statement through these deeply personal films, reflecting on his life and sentiments of both past and present. Working from his vast video archive of footage, these films aim to “celebrate the small forms of cinema, the lyrical form, the poem, the watercolor, etude, sketch, portrait, arabesque, and bagatelle, and little 8mm songs.”

Within the first collection of 40 short films there are several categories of patterns that occur. They include portraits, happenings, performances, travel, filmmakers, cinema, and perhaps most notably, autobiographical themes. Many of these films consist of flashes of images of New York, Fluxus, Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy, Alan Ginsburg, as well as some of modern art’s most prestigious ground-breakers including Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, George Maciunas, Hans Richter, Hollis Frampton, Harry Smith, Robert Frank, Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Robert Breer, Mary Menkin, Stan Brakhage John Lennon, Nam June Paik, Martin Scrosese, Nico, and many others.

Jonas Mekas has dedicated his life and work to establishing independent film as an art form. As a filmmaker, art critic, editor, teacher, distributor, and archivist, Mekas has contributed heavily to the creation of a postwar avant-garde Film community, which he continues to expand today. Through www.jonasmekas.com, he will further pursue his vision to “Free the Cinema” and create an equal place for the discourse of film among other modern mediums of fine art. Along with exhibiting, distributing, and producing films, Mekas pioneered a discourse for film criticism through Film Culture Magazine, the Village Voice, the Filmmaker’s Cooperative, and the Filmmaker’s Cinematique, which was transformed into Anthology Film Archives in 1970. Through embracing opportunities of new technology, Mekas is creating a Digital Revolution by which the work of experimental art filmmakers will be widely exposed to audiences across the world.

LCD monitors provided courtesy of Westinghouse Digital.

The exhibition of 40 films at Maya Stendhal Gallery will run from November 9 – February 10.

Jonas Mekas’ web-based project of 365 short films will launch January 1, 2007 on http://www.jonasmekas.com, and end January 1, 2008.

Maya Stendhal Gallery • 545 West 20th St • New York, NY 1011T (212) 366 1549 • F (347) 287 6775 • [email protected] • Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-6pm • http://www.mayastendhalgallery.com