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Good Night Good Morning

© Joan Jonas

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Joan Jonas

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Joan Jonas

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Joan Jonas

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Joan Jonas

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Joan Jonas

American, born 1936

Good Night Good Morning, 1976

video (black and white, sound)

running time: 11 minutes, 38 seconds

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

James H. Madison Fund, by exchange and Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Robins, Jr., by exchange, 2015

2015:13

More Details

Provenance

the artist;
June 5, 2015, purchased from the artist through Electronic Arts Intermix by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo

Class

Video art

Work Type

Video art

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

In Good Night Good Morning, 1976, Joan Jonas uses the medium of video to construct a memoir that charts the passing of personal time through quotidian ritual. The footage was shot over three different periods in both New York and Nova Scotia. Upon waking in the morning and before going to bed at night each day, she videotaped herself briefly addressing the camera, stoically wishing it a ”good morning” or "good night." While recording, Jonas framed her ceremonial act by placing the camera on its side. She then reflects this adjustment in the presentation of the final work—on a monitor also turned on its side—which allows the viewer to actively perceive the medium and, therefore, the ritual. The result is a self-portrait that is at once indifferent and intimate, public and private. This work was created in 1976 as part of Jonas’s earlier performance, entitled Mirage, which took place on several nights over the course of a few weeks. During this presentation she carried out a series of inspired movements, such as running as a form of percussion, while likewise interacting with various sculptural components and video projections. About the impetus behind her need to explore repetitive action and the way it plays into her earlier works, Jonas states, “I was influenced by rituals of other cultures, in mythology, in looking at early Chinese art. When I began to do performance, I thought: What am I doing in this context of the art world, of friends? Why am I getting up in front of people, moving around and doing tasks . . . I began to look at the way simple gestures, repeated, connect the onlooker to the performer.”

Label from Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning, January 16–May 1, 2016

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