Joan Jonas (b. 1936)
Volcano Saga (1989)
1989, 28 min, color, sound
Based on the thirteenth-century Icelandic Laxdeala Saga, this narrative reverie is a televisual retelling of a medieval myth about a young woman (played by Tilda Swinton) whose dreams foretell the future. Shot in the dramatic natural landscapes of Iceland and in New York, this performance-based work uses ancient dream analysis as a starting point for a densely textured tale, in which the young woman's interpreter (played by Ron Vawter) hears her dreams and sees their meaning. Jonas employs multilayered digital effects to create a ritualistic dreamscape of the young woman's imagination and desires. The ghostly overlays, otherworldly images and mythical text imbue Volcano Saga with a haunting beauty.
Directors of Photography: Toon Illegems, Jules Backus. Music: Alvin Lucier, Jon Cooper. Editors: Robert Burden, Kathryn High, Joan Jonas, Branda Miller, Jill Kroesen. With: Tilda Swinton, Ron Vawter, Joan Jonas. Narration: Ruth Maleczech. Produced by Joan Jonas and Alan Kleinberg. Coproduced by Continental Video, Antwerp. Produced in association with New Television, WNET/WGBH. -- EAI
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
, NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue
for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.
Joan Jonas in UbuWeb Sound