6:30pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2017
MFA Fine Arts and ARTNOIR presented an intimate conversation with world-renowned artist and pioneer in video and performance Joan Jonas and jazz pianist, musician and composer Jason Moran. This tête-à-tête will examine the potency of the collaborative process. The symbiotic journey of these two artists, whose 10-year working relationship has generated a series of acclaimed collaborations, provides a critical discourse that exemplifies the power of creative intersectionality.
Joan Jonas (b. 1936, New York) is an artist whose work encompasses a wide range of media including video, performance, installation, sound, text and sculpture. Jonas' experiments and productions in the late 1960s and early '70s continue to be crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theatre. Since 1968, her practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of rituals, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas has exhibited, screened and performed her work at museums, galleries and large-scale group exhibitions throughout the world, such as the Taipei Biennal; Documentas 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 13; the 2008 Sydney Biennial; the 2008 Yokohama Triennial; and the 28th Sao Paolo Biennial. She has recently presented solo exhibitions at Jeu de Paume, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; CCA Kitakyushu, Japan; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; HangarBicocca, Milan; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore; and the U.S. Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennial.
Jazz pianist, composer and performance artist Jason Moran was born in Houston in 1975 and earned a degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Jaki Byard. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010 and is the artistic director for jazz at The Kennedy Center. Moran currently teaches at the New England Conservatory.
Moran's rich and varied body of work is actively shaping the current and future landscape of jazz. He is deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music and language, and his extensive efforts in composition, improvisation and performance are all geared toward challenging the status quo while respecting the accomplishments of his predecessors. His activity stretches beyond the many recordings and performances with masters of the form, including Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell and the late Sam Rivers, and his work with his trio The Bandwagon (with drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Tarus Mateen) has resulted in a profound discography for Blue Note Records. The scope of Moran’s partnerships and music-making with venerated and iconic visual artists is extensive. He has collaborated with such major figures as Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Stan Douglas, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson (BFA 1982 Photography) and Kara Walker; commissioning institutions of Moran's work include the Walker Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Dia Art Foundation, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Harlem Stage and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Moran has a longstanding collaborative practice with his wife, singer and Broadway actor Alicia Hall Moran; as named artists in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, they together constructed BLEED, a five-day series of live music. BLEED explored the power of performance to cross barriers and challenge assumptions, and was widely hailed as groundbreaking in the music and performance realm.
Moran will have his first solo museum exhibition at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in spring 2018.