In this historic, one-night only event, internationally-acclaimed artist and Mount Holyoke alumna Joan Jonas will direct a reconfigured staging of her groundbreaking performance, Mirror Piece I.
Mirror Piece I was the first in a series of time-based works that established Jonas as a leading figure in the field of performance art. Motivated by feminist ideas, the work explores gender hierarchies, the power of the gaze, and notions of perception and representation. At Mount Holyoke, Mirror Piece I: Reconfigured (1969/2018-2019) will be performed by students who are pursuing majors in the visual and performing arts.
Co-sponsored by the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, the InterArts Council and the Office of the Dean of Faculty.
Joan Jonas ’58
Incorporating video, sculpture, drawing, and performance, Jonas‘s innovative work uses diverse storytelling traditions to explore ways of seeing. Born in New York in 1936, Jonas received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College before attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Columbia University, where she earned an M.F.A. in Sculpture in 1965. She has participated in Germany’s prestigious dOCUMENTA six times since 1972, and in 2015, she represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. Currently, Jonas is the subject of a major touring retrospective, organized by Tate Modern, London and in June 2018 she was selected as a recipient of the prestigious Kyoto Prize in arts and philosophy. A hero and mentor to a younger generation of artists, she is professor emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jonas lives and works in New York City and Nova Scotia.
As Mount Holyoke's 2018-2019 Leading Woman in the Arts, Jonas is the first alumna in the program’s 12-year history. She is also the subject of an exhibition on view at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum through June 16, 2019. Promise of the Infinite: Joan Jonas and the Mirror is the first exhibition to exclusively explore the theme of the mirror in Jonas's work.