This week is your last chance to view Joan Jonas’s Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy, on view in the exhibition Religion, Ritual and Performance in Modern and Contemporary Art. We hope you will return the following week as we continue our rotating series of performance-related video works on view in the Ellen Johnson Gallery.
Based on Joan Jonas’ 1972 performance of the same name, Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy features the artist in the doll-faced guise of her invented alter-ego Organic Honey. Through the use of costumes, symbolic props, and ritualized gestures, Jonas’ non-linear narrative explores artifice, female identity, and the self. Jonas has spoken of Organic Honey’s origins:
“Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy evolved as I found myself continually investigating my own image in the monitor of my video machine. My next move was to buy the mask of a doll’s face, which transformed me into an erotic seductress. I named my new persona Organic Honey. I become increasingly obsessed with following the process of my own theatricality. As my images fluctuated from the narcissistic and a more abstract representation, the risk was in becoming too submerged in solipsistic gestures. I attempted to fashion a dialogue between my different disguises and the fantasies they suggested. I always kept in touch with myself through the monitor. I was never separated from my own exposure.”
Joan Jonas (American, born 1936)
Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy, 1972
B&W, sound, 17:24 mins.
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York