Organic Honey's Visual Telepathy, 1972 (video still), video, 17:24 minutes, sound, b/w, courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix [EAI], New York
In her work Vertical Role (1972), Joan Jonas creates a formal contrast between the theatrical female figure she impersonates and the violent disturbance created by an electronic signal moving across the screen in the form of a black stripe. At the same time, Jonas bangs a spoon, giving metaphorical expression to pent-up anger regarding the domestic role of women. In this manner, Jonas provokes a perturbing sense of estrangement and unreality in relation to the female figures she represents.
In the work Organic Honey's Visual Telepathy (1972), Jonas appears wearing a doll-like mask with a frozen smile. This character, which she called "Organic Honey," deconstructs "feminine" gestures that resemble ritual gestures. In the course of the performance, Jonas' actions appeared in real time as a closed-circuit projection on large-scale screens; they were accompanied by smaller projections of the same images, which appeared like split-off versions of the same character. In this manner, Jonas amplified the game of reflections and masquerading played by her character, as well as the sense of a split self.
Born in New York, 1936; lives and works in New York