In the diary – Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas

In the diary – Jonas Mekas

Artist, poet and originator of avant-garde film, Jonas Mekas, is being celebrated at the Serpentine Gallery in an exhibition featuring film, video and photographic works from throughout his extraordinary 60-year career.

Born in Lithuania, Mekas spent his time in a concentration camp during WWII. After the war, he travelled to Europe until the late 1940s when he moved to the U.S. Mekas began filming in New York where he quickly became an influential figure in the art community working alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Jackie Kennedy and Allen Ginsberg, but it was twenty years later, in the 1960s, when Mekas developed and became internationally recognised for his diaristic film style. Perhaps his most celebrated film, The Brig, which Mekas produced in 1964 using a hand-held camera, tells the story of the degeneration of an inmate in a Marine Corps prison. Much of Mekas? work has influenced other filmmakers including Martin Scorsese.

The exhibition will present a selection of Mekas? work with film and poetry dating from the 1950s through to the present day. As part of the show, there will also be an evening with Mekas where he will unveil his new film, presented in the form of an immersive installation.

To coincide with the Serpentine Gallery?s exhibition, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and BFI Southbank, London, are also each presenting a season of film work celebrating Mekas? contribution to cinema.

The exhibition runs from 5 December 2012 to 27 January 2013. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery

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