Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in Lithuania. Since 1949 he has lived and worked in New York. He is one of the most prominent avant-garde filmmakers of the 60s and 70s. In the 50s he became actively involved in the discourse of film criticism: he published his texts in Film Culture Magazine, The Village Voice, Sight and Sound, Bianco e nero, The American Film, The New York Times, Cahiers du Cinema, Film Quarterly etc. Mekas is the founder and manager of the Film Anthology (archives of independent films) in New York. At the age of 78, he still actively works, writes and travels around the world with his works.
Mekas about this exhibition:
‘These images are from my films. But they no longer are my films. Neither are they photographs. What are they? They are my manias. I was obsessed with ideas about the possibilities of stopped frames. It started from incidental curiosity and turned into a mania. I truly don’t know what those images are. But I can recognize them as part of my memory and I like to watch them again, these fragments of memory.
I also know that such images could not be extracted from “commercial” cinema. They are possible only thanks to my style of filming “separate frames”. It is interesting and exciting to me. And I have to acknowledge that I hide these images from Robert Frank. When I last talked with him a couple of months ago and hinted at what I was doing, he laughed and said: “keep away from photography, it can be dangerous.” However, I know that Robert is a very nice person and he knows that I don’t have any claims to photography. Actually, I am in the no-man’s-land and have no idea where I am going and where this adventure will lead me.’