February 13, 2018 - Tate Modern - Joan Jonas
February 13, 2018

Tate Modern

Joan Jonas, Mirage, 1976. Performance, Anthology Film Archives, New York, 1976. © 2018 Joan Jonas: Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; DACS, London. © 1976 Babette Mangolte.

Joan Jonas
March 14–August 5, 2018

Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
United Kingdom

T +44 20 7887 8888

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Tate Modern is proud to announce an ambitious, multi-part programme devoted to the pioneering work of Joan Jonas (b. 1936, New York). The programme, comprising a major exhibition, large-scale installations, performances, screenings and talks will take place across Tate Modern’s galleries, the Tanks, the Thames riverside, Starr Cinema and Turbine Hall, from March 14–August 5, 2018.

Jonas is a leading figure in the development of performance, video and installation. She has been instrumental in shaping the language of these art forms during the last five decades, and her work continues to resonate with and inspire a contemporary generation. In an effort to reflect the many layers of Jonas’s rich practice, and her daring movement between mediums, disciplines and sites, a cross-disciplinary curatorial team at Tate Modern—Andrea Lissoni and Catherine Wood, Isabella Maidment, Monika Bayer-Wermuth and Carly Whitefield—is taking a new, "multi-platform" approach, enabling different modes and modalities of encounter with the work.

In the exhibition galleries of the Blavatnik building, a new retrospective of Jonas’s five-decade body of work will be staged. Alongside this, a focus on Jonas’s historic and current performance practice will anchor the annual BMW Tate Live Exhibition both inside the Tanks and on the Thames riverside landscape. Subsequently, a film retrospective will be presented in the Starr auditorium, alongside a major, one-off performance of a new work occupying the expanse of the Turbine Hall.

Further details on this extraordinary opportunity to encounter Jonas’s work are as follows:


Joan Jonas: Retrospective
March 14–August 5, 2018
Blavatnik Building, Level 2 and the Tanks

Celebrating Joan Jonas’s remarkable career, this exhibition unites the artist’s most important works in the largest exhibition dedicated to her work mounted in the UK. Early and late works will be shown in dialogue reflecting Jonas’s interest in revisiting her own history.

Key themes from her practice will be explored, from her use of sound to the influence of Japanese noh theatre. Early works will include the iconic video Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy, 1972 which explores female identity via the artist’s sexualised alter-ego, while recent installations will include Reanimation, 2010/13 and Stream or River, Flight or Pattern, 2016-17 which broach the issues of climate change and animal extinction—subjects that are central to Jonas’s current practice.

Joan Jonas is curated in close collaboration with the artist by Andrea Lissoni, Senior Curator of International Art (Film), Tate Modern and Julienne Lorz, Curator, Haus der Kunst, Munich with Monika Bayer-Wermuth, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and a programme of talks and events in the gallery. The show will tour to Haus der Kunst, Munich, in 2018 and to Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Porto, in 2019.

The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern and Haus der Kunst, Munich in partnership with the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Porto.


BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights
March 16–25, 2018
The Tanks, open daily 10am–6pm
Evening performances on March 16, 17, 21, 22, 24 and 25, 2018

Joan Jonas’s restlessly experimental work forms the foundation of Tate Modern’s annual live exhibition and seeks to experiment with new forms of sharing with its audiences. Joan Jonas inspires the BMW Tate Live Exhibition 2018 and is its special guest as well. The exhibition showcases Jonas’s work in performance and installation including ground-breaking works not staged for over 40 years. To demonstrate her lasting legacy and powerful impact on contemporary artists today, Jonas’s work will be presented in dialogue with an intergenerational selection of artists—including Jason Moran, Mark Leckey, Sylvia Palacios Whitman, Jumana Emil Abboud and patten.  

Visitors are invited to explore a series of installations in the Tanks including Jonas’s masterpiece Reanimation 2010/12/13; Cones/May Windows (After Mirage), 1976; Stage Sets, 1977, alongside the video version of a newly-preserved 16mm print of  Wind, 1968. The six night programme features Jonas performing live together with her long-time collaborator the celebrated Jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran, as well as two nights dedicated to three of her seminal works: Mirror Check, 1970, Mirror Piece II, 1969 Mirage, 1976, the latter performed by Jonas herself for the first time since 1980. The exhibition will extend onto the banks of the Thames for a newly reconfigured version of Jonas’s performance Delay Delay, 1972, an outdoor ritual which will play out on Bankside’s shoreline at low tide each day. In the South Tank by day, visitors can encounter a musical composition by Jason Moran. A new commission by Jumana Emil Abboud, A Happy Ending III: Tate Tales will intersect with Jonas’s long-held exploration of myth and fairytale with a contemporary Palestinian take on the oral tradition.

BMW Tate Live Exhibition 2018: Ten Days Six Nights is curated by Catherine Wood, Senior Curator of International Art (Performance), Isabella Maidment, Assistant Curator of Performance and Andrea Lissoni, Senior Curator of International Art (Film). Produced by Judith Bowdler.

In partnership with BMW


Joan Jonas: Mystic Knots
June 2–3, 2018
Starr Cinema

This Tate Film Pioneers series surveys Joan Jonas’s influential work in film and video over a period of five decades, exploring key themes and techniques, as well as drawing in the films of artists that have been influential to her practice.

Joan Jonas: Mystic Knots is curated by Carly Whitefield, Assistant Curator, Film.

Tate Film is supported by In Between Art Film


Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land. Oceans – Sketches and Notes 
May 31, 2018
Turbine Hall

Combining live drawing, readings and film projection, this new multi-layered performance draws on an array of literary and mythological references as well as the artist’s own collection of sketches and notes to explore poetic and ecological aspects of ocean life.

Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land. Oceans – Sketches and Notes is curated by Isabella Maidment, Assistant Curator, Performance and produced by Judith Bowdler.

Commissioned by TBA21-Academy


Artists talk: Joan Jonas with Marina Warner
June 1, 2018, 6:30–8pm
Starr Cinema

Joan Jonas will be in conversation with acclaimed writer and historian Marina Warner, who, like Jonas, has explored the enduring power of myths and fairy tales.

Tate Modern
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