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Joan Jonas

From the performance Double Lunar Dogs


Joan Jonas
Born in New York in 1936


From the performance Double Lunar Dogs




Acrylic (?) on paper


96.5 cm x 126.5 cm


Gift of Susan Watterson, inv. 2012.146


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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