Pioneering the evolution of audiovisual language both on and offline since the 60s, cinema legend Jonas Mekas presents The Internet Saga, a solo exhibition running from May 6 to November 22. It’s located at two sites, the Palazzo Foscari Contarini –a sixteenth century building that is now a Burger King restaurant –and video art space Spazio Ridotto.
Curated by curatorial duo Francesco Urbano Ragazzi in collaboration with Zuecca Projects, the project is dedicated to art on the web and launched on the May 6 and 7 in conjunction with the 56th Venice Biennale. Ragazzi chose the Burger King at the Palazzo Foscari Contarini as an exhibition space to serve “as a metaphor of [the] Internet” representative of the “relationship between eras and materials, history and trade, fake and authenticity which are elements which characterize it”.
The exhibition opened with a Skype performance by Amalia Ulman who phoned in to the Internet Saga press conference at the My Art Guide Meeting Point in Venice on May 7 (you can see an excerpt of the video that screened here). It was organised as a tribute to the influential artist and to launch Ulman’s own )TITRE( web calendar contribution to the project. Meanwhile, Mekas will continue to broadcast a collection of over 500 videos until the exhibition’s November close; personal entries from an online journal he’s been keeping since 2006. The work is undisruptive as it plays on four screens already present in the building, “juxtaposing itself to Palazzo Foscari Contarini, by modifying it without interfering with its reality, without touching it, as it would at a virtual level”.
Mekas is also exhibiting ‘To Petrarca’ (2009), a seventy-minute sound piece comprised of recordings made in the streets of New York that merge with the sounds of Andy Warhol’s funeral. Photographic transparencies are attached, and filter light like stained glass, to thirty-two windows facing the courtyard. They are 768 reproductions of mostly unpublished frames from Mekas’ body of video work.
Spazio Ridotto functions as a cinema, presenting a selection of Mekas’ video work in the second location. The project also has two official websites to compliment the exhibition, www.internetsaga.com, updated daily, and a web calendar created by Ulman located at www.titre.name, which will be updated irregularly “by artists and intellectuals who reflect on time in the Internet era”. **
Exhibition photos, top right.
Header image: In an instant it all came back to me (2015). Install view. Photo by Giulio Favotto Otium. EXPERIMENTAL.
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