"In the times of bigness, spectaculars, one hundred million dollar movie productions, I want to speak for the small, invisible acts of human spirit: so subtle, so small, that they die when brought out under the clean lights. I want to celebrate the small forms of cinema: the lyrical form, the poem, the watercolor, étude, sketch, portrait, arabesque, and bagatelle, and little 8mm songs. In the times when everybody wants to succeed and sell, I want to embrace and pursue the invisible, the personal things that bring no money and no bread and make no contemporary history, art history or any other history. I am for art which we do for each other, as friends"
- Anti-100 Years of Cinema Manifesto, Jonas Mekas, 1966
Born in a Lithuanian farming village, Jonas Mekas moved to New York in 1949 where he became a close collaborator with Andy Warhol, Nico, Allen Ginsberg, Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Salvador Dalí. In 1954 he and his brother started Film Culture magazine, which soon became one of the most important American film publications. His 1962 Film-Makers' Cooperative, then 1964 Filmmakers' Cinematheque, evolved into the Anthology Film Archives— recognized today as one of the world's largest and most important repositories of avant-garde cinema.
A prolific artist who finds art in all quotidian forms, Mekas has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, documenta of Kassel, MoMA PS1, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Centre Pompidou and the Serpentine Gallery and has published poems and prose in Lithuanian, French, German and English.
Lincoln Center will host a free talk with "The Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema" on Wednesday, February 10 at 6pm. Sponsored by HBO.