- Image Fragment -
Here is a selection of 20 IMAGES from those Mekas chose to be printed as photographs, they are taken from his 16mm film diaries and available in limited editions prints.
Mekas was invited by Jacquline Kennedy and Lee Radziwill to Montauk in the mid 60s to tutor their children in filmmaking_ Here is a SELECTION from limited edition photographs.
"These images are from my films. But they are no longer my films. At the same time, they are not photographs. What are they, then? They are my obsessions. I got obsessed with the possibilities of frozen frames. It began as a chance curiosity and then became an obsession. I don't really know what these images are. But I recognize them as part of my memory. And I like seeing them again, these fragments of memories... I also know that such images wouldn't be possible to extract from the commercial cinema. They are possible only because of my single-frame filming style. That I find interesting and exciting. And I have to admit: I am hiding these images from Robert Frank. Last time I spoke with him, a few months ago, and obliquely mentioned what I was doing, he laughed and said, "Stay away from photography, it can be dangerous." But I know Robert is a very kind man and he knows that I have no pretentions to photography. I am, really, in no man's land and I have no idea where I am going and where this adventure will take me..." Jonas Mekas
Excerpts from Jérôme Sans interview published in September 2000, in the book
"Just Like a Shadow: Jonas Mekas"
from which these images are reproduced, copyright 2000, by Steidl Publishers, Göttingen, Germany, and of course, all images are © Jonas Mekas
|Sans: Since 1950 you have always carried your Bolex camera,
all day long and everywhere. Why this desire to record everything?
Mekas: I have no real answer. All answers that I have given to this question in the past could be wrong, they are all my inventions. One of the answers, usually, is that as an exile, as a displaced person, I felt that I had lost so much, my country, my family, even my early written diaries, ten years of it, that I developed a need to try to retain everything I was passing through, by means of my Bolex camera. It became an obsession, a passion, a sickness. So now I have these images to cling to...It's all ridiculous, I think. Because what I have, after all, is already fading, it's all just like a shadow of the real reality which I do not really understand. When you go through what I went through, the wars, occupations, genocides, forced labor camps, displaced person camps, and lying in a blooming potato field - I'll never forget the whiteness of the blossoms - my face down to earth, after jumping out the window, while German soldiers held my father against the wall, gun in his back - then you don't understand human beings anymore. I have never understood them since then, and I just film, record everything, with no judgment, what I see. Not exactly "everything", only the brief moments that I feel like filming. And what are those moments, what makes me choose those moments? I don't know. It's my whole past memory that makes me choose the moments that I film.
Sans [regarding printed film frames]: How do you choose each of them?
Mekas: There are several things that determine the choosing of the images. One is the visual dynamic between the frames determined by light, color, or shapes. Another is the clashings by content - be it a face, or abstraction. The faces, the possibilities of portraiture in motion. And also what the image means to me, personally. The rarity of the images also comes into play, for instance, the images of Carl Theodore Dreyer - I like them as images, but at the same time these are very rare images.
|L. Brandon Krall 212.673.6099_ site © Media_Triangle NYC 2001|