Weekly Update – Joan Jonas is Screening Video’s last show

After three years of solid programming, Screening Video—the room behind the black curtain in Vox Populi’s entryway—is going away. For its last show ever, the little project space offers “Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy,” feminist artist Joan Jonas’ 17-minute, black-and-white performance video from 1972.

Joan Jonas, film still from Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy

Jonas is a seminal figure in ’60s and ’70s performance video, and “Organic Honey” features her mugging for the camera in front of a mirror, trying on different personas and performing ritual behaviors. A baby-doll mask transforms her into her seductive alter ego, Organic Honey. Influenced by Japanese Noh theater, Jonas’ experimentation with the camera and focus on archetypical women prefigure works by today’s video artists Kate Gilmore and Pippilotti Rist. Gilmore and Rist, like Jonas, use ritualized performance and sexually charged characters in scenes that are ultimately threatening. Screening, the brainchild of artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, will be missed. The quiet little niche with comfy foam seating was a must-visit space for cutting edge videos.

More first friday picks at Philly Weekly.