COLOGNE.- Museum Ludwig will be presenting the first solo exhibition in Germany by the film maker, poet and film critic Jonas Mekas. After an odyssey lasting almost five years as a forced labourer in Germany, and as a displaced person after the war, Jonas Mekas arrived in 1949 in New York. Here he dedicated himself in a whole host of ways to film, not least as an event manager who opened up an increasing number of possibilities for screening the New American Cinema - before the Anthology Film Archive, which he co-founded, could at last provide a home for the avant-garde film from Sergei Eisenstein to Carl Theodor Dreyer as well as for the underground film and other currents from 1970 on.
The main emphasis of the exhibition will be on Joan Mekass artistic and cinematic output, which will be shown in a dedicated film programme and a number of installations in the various exhibition spaces. Since the 1960s Jonas Mekas has developed his own distinctive style which arose from his many years of documenting his daily life and the passing events with a small hand-held camera, a Bolex. The short diary-like sequences have been pieced together in such a way that, when combined with his collages of original sound material, his memories and commentaries spoken from off camera, or the noises he colects, they are woven together into an exceptionally complex poetic fabric. Since the early 1990s, he has taken this method, as exemplified in such films as Walden or As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, and translated it into the new media as Frozen film stills, such as in New York with Love, or video installations. Alongside his most recent work, Museum Ludwig will be showing his large-scale 365 Day Project, for which Jonas Mekas filmed one video every day for a whole year.
A catalogue will appear in collaboration with the Serpentine Gallery, London, published by Koenig Books, London. The exhibition, which has been curated together with Jonas Mekas, has received the kind support of the Roswitha Haftmann Stiftung LOGO, as well as the Maya Stendhal Gallery, New York. It has been made possible by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.