Songdelay (1973)

Black & white, sound. 18’ 35”

Songdelay (1973)

Joan Jonas, Songdelay. Courtesy: EAI

Joan Jonas’s early video works, which are distinguished by an idiosyncratic language of ritualized gesture and objects, often explore female identity. In Songdelay, originally shot on film, Jonas choreographs a theater of space, movement and sound, with the urban landscape of New York in the 1970’s in a featured role. Performing with an ensemble of artists (including Gordon Matta- Clark), Jonas experiments with emblematic props, unexpected rhythms of space and scale, references to drawing and desynchronized audio. At once delightfully improvisational and precisely choreographed, Songdelay resonates with Jonas’ distinctive performance vocabulary and ritual objects, while also highlighting the mediated nature of the recording.

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