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Joan Jonas

Press release


Joan Jonas – Moving Off the Land II

Joan Jonas’s exhibition “Moving Off the Land II” is the inaugural public project at the Ocean Space. The installation is the culmination of three years of intensive research in aquariums around the world as well as in the waters off the coast of Jamaica, commissioned by TBA21–Academy. Curated by Stefanie Hessler, and on view from March 24 until September 29, 2019, “Moving Off the Land II” unfolds across 500 square meters of what was once the nave of the church of San Lorenzo. The show comprises new video, sculpture, drawing, and sound works, as well as a performance on May 7, 2019, centering on the role the oceans have played for cultures throughout history as a totemic, spiritual, and ecological touchstone.

Joan Jonas is one of the most renowned artists of her generation. She is celebrated for her groundbreaking work in performance, installation, and video since the 1960s. At a time when art started leaving the confines of the gallery space, Jonas created work that converged with dance, music, and theater. Ever since, her work has tackled complex questions regarding humans’ relationship with the environment. Jonas represented the United States at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. With this new work, she returns to Venice and revisits some of the themes touched upon in her US Pavilion exhibition “They Come to Us Without a Word”: the natural world and the animals inhabiting it—from bees to fish—as well as the present danger of climate change and extinction.