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Joan Jonas

Untitled
From the performance Double Lunar Dogs

Artist

Joan Jonas
Born in New York in 1936

Title

Untitled
From the performance Double Lunar Dogs

Date

1981

Materials

Acrylic (?) on paper

Dimensions

96.5 cm x 126.5 cm

Credits

Gift of Susan Watterson, inv. 2012.146

Collection

International Contemporary Art

The American artist Joan Jonas was inspired to create her performance Double Lunar Dogs after reading a science fiction story by American writer Robert Heinlein entitled Universe (1941). This novella – the first of Orphans of the Sky – is the story of the intergalactic wandering of the spaceship Vanguard, adrift without a pilot following a mutiny. Howard Junker described Jonas’s performance in an article in Art in America in 1981: “Filled with the usual camouflage of ritual stomp-dancing, percussive sound, toys, rolling balls, mirror/masks and NASA film clips, this was Jonas’s extravaganza, a massive mustering of energy, an orchestration of a huge cast and crew. It was performed in the round: Jonas finally found a way to present herself as freestanding sculpture, to establish her presence in the void.” From that performance, presented in Houston, Genoa, Basel, Eindhoven and New York, came this iconic drawing.

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