Jonas Mekas:
New Works and His First Vine

June 28, 2013 | Marina Galperina

ANIMAL stopped by the opening of Jonas Mekas’s exhibit “OUTLAW: NEW WORKS” at the Microscope Gallery last night. The 90-year-old Lithuanian filmmaker, “godfather of American avant-garde cinema” and founder of the invaluable Anthology Film Archives was cheerful and friendly, despite the aggressive theme of his show.

I dedicate this Exhibition to all artists who had to go or are going through long money draining and annoying “dispute” trials with their gallerists. This show marks the occasion of my own “dispute” court case concluding its Fourth year.

– Jonas Mekas

There were also a few gorgeous film-strip-triptych canvases of flowers, grass, Mekas in the grass — a familiar poignant sweetness. All the while, a drunken accordion screech is coming from the corner with Mekas’s accented singing, undulating, gentle demon rasping about wanting to “piss on your grave” in his new video piece Sing. Sing to me, Blackberrybird. Like the “OUTLAW Xerox diaries” collages on the wall, the magnified torn-up bits of email exchanges. It’s hard to tell whether Mekas or his gallerist e-authored “I never lose” “don’t fuck with me” “hahahaha” and “ghetto avant garde.” Mekas survived the Holocaust, Nazi pursuits and political persecution for his writing and “obscene” works. Don’t fuck with Mekas!

Last night, something important happened. ANIMAL friend Rhett Jones of Art F City handed Mekas a phone. He tells ANIMAL that when Mekas saw our modern trinket in action, his face lit up. And then, Mekas made his first Vine and everything came full circle.

Head over to Art F City to see the first ever Jonas Mekas Vine.

That is exciting, validating and awesome. Mekas invented Vine. Sort of. His quick cuts, sped-up documentarian accounts via a 16mm Bolex are legendary. They encompass, communicate and emote so much of New York history and personal intimacy. That very aesthetic is what Vine — at it’s very best — is doing with it’s looping 6-second captures in the hands of a pedestrian documentarian. More Mekas Vines please!

Here are some Mekas classics for context.

Here are my Vines of the opening. Not as good as Mekas, obviously.

“OUTLAW: NEW WORKS,” Jonas Mekas, Jun 27 – Jul 29, Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn