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Jonas Mekas

Born, 1922 in Semeniskiai, Lithuania

From the archived Documenta 11 website : www.documenta12.de//archiv/d11/data/english/index.html

“The central points of reference in the film works of Jonas Mekas are his own biography and the archive. For the last five decades, the filmmaker and poet has followed a radically subjective approach. He documents excerpts of his life by recording fragments of reality with the handy 16mm camera, emphasizing his involvement in the shooting process. Like an amateur film, vacillating between triviality and significance, his montage of numerous individual sequences creates complex narratives and systems of reference. For As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses Of Beauty (2000), Mekas put his personal archive material from 1970 to 1999 through a re-vision. The result is an almost five-hour retrospective whose mere length goes beyond the scope of any feature film. He reflects on personal memory, friendship, beauty, and the fleeting nature of the moment. He repeatedly comments on extremely “personal” images of family and friends with the statement: this is a political film. He thereby involves his audience in a game with categories like “public” and “private” that refers to his work, inseparable from his own person, and his role within the New York cultural scene.”

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Kassel, Germany