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this side of paradise, jonas mekas

agnès b. presents for the second time This Side of Paradise, an exhibition of film stills by Jonas Mekas, in honor of the screening of a previously unseen film at Jeu de Paume, Paris, on June 14, 2011. Originally presented in 1999 at the Galerie du Jour, agnès b. published This Side of Paradise – Fragments of an Unfinished Biography as a collection of images from the series. In the book’s preface, she talks about the filmmaker and the poetry of
his work.
“Lyrical, loving, passionate, euphoric, it sit with the lightness of an elf that he places himself in the very heart of the scene, in which he is both actor and viewer, and the images of his films, these essential stills in the literal sense, appear to me similar to those memories which becomes mental films as in the dreams of us all – this side of paradise.
… MEMORY, is it not the world that Jonas pronounces the most, in a toyful tone, rolling the R with pleasure ?
On est vivant.” – agnès
Jonas Mekas also talks about the beginning of this project, from the image in his diaries.
“Unpredictably, as most of my life’s key events have been, for a period of several years of late 60s and early 70s, I had the fortune to spend some time, mostly during the summers, with Jackie Kennedy’s and her sister Lee Radziwill’s families and children. Cinema was an integral, inseparable, as a matter of fact, a key part of our friendship. The time was still very close to the untimely, tragic, death of John F. Kennedy. Jackie wanted to give something to her children to do, to help to ease the transition, life without a father. One of her thoughts was that movie camera would be fun for the children. Peter Beard, who was at that time tutoring John Jr. and Caroline in art history, suggested to Jackie that I was the man to
introduce the children to cinema. Jackie said yes. And that’s how it all began. I bought them a very easily operable 16mm movie camera, and even wrote a “mini-textbook” suggesting some simple movie exercises… The images in [... ] +

agnès b. presents for the second time This Side of Paradise, an exhibition of film stills by Jonas Mekas, in honor of the screening of a previously unseen film at Jeu de Paume, Paris, on June 14, 2011. Originally presented in 1999 at the Galerie du Jour, agnès b. published This Side of Paradise – Fragments of an Unfinished Biography as a collection of images from the series. In the book’s preface, she talks about the filmmaker and the poetry of
his work.
“Lyrical, loving, passionate, euphoric, it sit with the lightness of an elf that he places himself in the very heart of the scene, in which he is both actor and viewer, and the images of his films, these essential stills in the literal sense, appear to me similar to those memories which becomes mental films as in the dreams of us all – this side of paradise.
… MEMORY, is it not the world that Jonas pronounces the most, in a toyful tone, rolling the R with pleasure ?  
On est vivant.” – agnès
Jonas Mekas also talks about the beginning of this project, from the image in his diaries.
“Unpredictably, as most of my life’s key events have been, for a period of several years of late 60s and early 70s, I had the fortune to spend some time, mostly during the summers, with Jackie Kennedy’s and her sister Lee Radziwill’s families and children. Cinema was an integral, inseparable, as a matter of fact, a key part of our friendship. The time was still very close to the untimely, tragic, death of John F. Kennedy. Jackie wanted to give something to her children to do, to help to ease the transition, life without a father. One of her thoughts was that movie camera would be fun for the children. Peter Beard, who was at that time tutoring John Jr. and Caroline in art history, suggested to Jackie that I was the man to
introduce the children to cinema. Jackie said yes. And that’s how it all began. I bought them a very easily operable 16mm movie camera, and even wrote a “mini-textbook” suggesting some simple movie exercises… The images in the exposition, with a few exceptions, they all come from the summers Caroline and John Jr. spent in Montauk, with their cousins Anthony and Tina Radziwill, in an old house Lee rented from Andy Warhol, for a few summers. Andy himself spent many of his weekends there, in one of the cottages, as did Peter Beard, whom the children had adopted almost like their older brother or a father they missed. There were summers of happiness, joy and continuous celebrations of life and friendships. These are Little Fragments of Paradise.” – Jonas Mekas
exhibition within agnès b. endowment fond
6, rue du Jour 75001 Paris
Exhibition : June 8th – August 20th, 2011
Opening with the artist : June 15th, 2011
photo : Sans titre, Montauk 1972, Tirage 1996
From this side of paradise
Photogramme couleur, sous plaque de verre
jonas mekas.com -

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