John Kennedy Jr. tells a secret to Anthony Radziwill, his cousin, 1971 (From He stands in a desert counting the seconds of his life), Jonas Mekas, [source]
If I had the luxury of spending an entire day in one of the exhibitions we saw when we were in New York, it would be the Jonas Mekas show at PS1. The compelling exhibition strategy of walls lined with monitors that simultaneously play his films, along with film stills, and a multi-channel installation of the Four Quartets: (The Destruction Quartet; The Education of Sebastian, or Egypt Regained; Farewell to SoHo; and Martin Scorsese: An American Filmmaker at Work) and The Sixties Quartet (Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol, Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas, To John and Yoko with Love, and This Side of Paradise) works beautifully with the content of his work — fragments of the daily and the minutia of friendships, family, and everyday life. A show that features “the godfather of avant-garde cinema” could have easily detoured into a celebratory mess, but in the sensitive hands of guest curator Phong Bui, what comes across is the cumulative power of his humble and attentive body of work, framed by his own joyous manifesto.
In the times when everybody wants to succeed and sell, I want to celebrate those who embrace social and daily failure to pursue the invisible, the personal, things that bring no money and no bread and make no contemporary history — art history or any other history.
I am for art which we do for each other as friends, for ourselves. -Jonas Mekas, from his manifesto of cinema
Jonas Mekas: The Beauty of Friends Being Together Quartet
at PS1, February 11 – April 16, 2007