Joan Jonas, one of the pioneering artists in performance art, experimental film and video installation. In her work, Jonas reconsiders the clichés of femininity and rebuilds the image of women and their stereotyped behaviour.
Strongly intuitive, Jonas' modus operandi often begins with a piece of writing, a poem or a story, with elements taken from legends and myths as well as the work of writers such as Eduardo Galiano, James Joyce, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges and William Carlos Williams. Her interest in semiotics has a correlate in her layering of time and space in her performances. In her early days, the themes of her work were connected to the artist herself, her body, her ups and downs, transformations, distortions and reconstructions through her alter ego, abstractions of the feminine or the contrast of gender roles. Later, the dramaturgy of the text harks back to historic events as recorded in fables and epics. The selection of pieces shows how Jonas' work has remained faithful to a system of expression and a range of themes that are extraordinarily coherent as a body, to the extent that the various installations and videos that she has produced from the early 1970s to the present day seem to all form part of a single programme.