Jonas Mekas. REQUIEM

opening 17.04.2024

dates 18-21.04.2024


CURA presents REQUIEM, the final masterpiece by the Lithuanian-born filmmaker Jonas Mekas (Semeniškiai 1922 – New York 2019). The project, curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi as part of the European première of the work, is made possible thanks to the support of the Estate of Jonas Mekas, the Lithuanian Culture Institute, and Zuecca Projects in collaboration with Apalazzo Gallery and Case Chiuse by Paola Clerico with the media partnership of The Brooklyn Rail.


During the opening days of the 60th Venice Biennale, the video installation will be accessible in the Sant’Elena district, just a few steps away from the Giardini della Biennale, in an extraordinary place that opens its doors to contemporary art for the first time, Società Dante Alighieri. REQUIEM is the last film made by Jonas Mekas during his lifetime and can be considered as his farewell to earthly life. Projected on two synchronized screens, a kaleidoscope of images reverberates endlessly, allowing the wonder of nature to reveal itself in its infinite beauty.


Flowers of every shape and color, trees swaying in the wind, meadows, and leaves were captured by the artist over the last thirty years of his existence using various digital mediums, from his first Sony camcorder to an ultracompact Nikon. However, what the viewers see unfolding before their eyes is not merely a depiction of earthly paradise. At times, the floral imagery alternates with tragic scenes of wars, fires, and floods captured by Mekas’s camera from a distance, on television screens or newspapers. Rather than an Eden, the planet immortalized in the work appears to be the one that survived the great Flood. More than a meditation on death, the artist seems to offer a vision of life
after the Anthropocene, at the end of human life.


The soundtrack to Jonas Mekas’s video installation is Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass, composed for the death of the writer Alessandro Manzoni in 1874, but in-real-time recorded sounds overlay the choir and orchestra at certain points. Thus, the images become both a celebration and a counterpoint to the solemnity of this cornerstone of Italian Romanticism in music.


Complete press folder:

Jonas Mekas. REQUIEM
Curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi


Opening: 17 April, 6,30 pm – 9:00 pm
From 18 to 21 April, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm


Società Dante Alighieri, Fondamenta Sant’Elena 3, Venice

Copyright © Zuecca Projects 2024