Joan Jonas, They Come to Us without a Word (2015) production still. © 2018 Joan Jonas/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture will host the U.S. Premiere of They Come to Us without a Word, a multimedia installation by American artist Joan Jonas. Originally commissioned for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the work incorporates Jonas’ iconic blend of performance, video, drawing and sculpture to create an immersive journey addressing the wonder and fragility of the natural world. They Come to Us without a Word integrates video, drawings, sound, and performance in five galleries linked by fragments of ghost stories from oral traditions in Cape Breton. As a built environment, They Come to Us without a Word engages with elemental forces and figures in nature.

For decades, Jonas has been at the vanguard of interdisciplinary art. Her pioneering integration of video and performance creates expansive environments with new models of image making and storytelling. Jonas was recently the subject of a major retrospective at Tate Modern, and recipient of the 2018 Kyoto Prize.

Jonas will also present two new performances of Moving Off the Land, a mesmerizing tribute and poetic response to the power of the sea. The multi-layered performance brings together readings, dance, live drawing and projections to portray the ocean’s biodiverse inhabitants and endangered marine cultures.

They Come to Us without a Word
 is on view at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture from January 17 through March 10, 2019. Performances of Moving Off the Land will be presented on January 19–20, 2019.

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