The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents Lunar Rabbit, a multimedia window installation by Joan Jonas. This work—on view from the façade of FWM’s The New Temporary Contemporary—is inspired by the myth of a rabbit whose image is eternally imprinted on the moon, a reward for selflessness. The project was initially developed with a young dancer in 2010 as a video installation at Center for Contemporary Art (CCA), Kitakyushu, Japan, projected on two large curved screens fabricated in paper and wood. This version of Lunar Rabbit was organized by More Art, New York, to be exhibited in the windows of the Luceplan Store in Soho, as part of the Armory Arts Week 2012 VIP program. For this installation, students from New York’s Clinton School for Writers and Artists worked with Jonas to explore this myth’s Japanese and Aztec symbolism and themes through discussion, drawing, and papier-mâché. Students then reenacted the fairy tale-like story in a wooded area along the Hudson River. Jonas cropped video footage of their performance to project onto a large hanging moon, which serves as the centerpiece of the installation.
A seminal figure in American post-war contemporary art, Joan Jonas (b. 1936, New York) works in mediums including performance, film and video, sculpture, photography, and painting. Jonas received her MFA in Sculpture from Columbia University (1965). She has been awarded fellowships and grants for choreography, video, and visual arts from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the CAT Fund, the Artist TV Lab at WNET/13 (New York City), the Television Workshop at WXX1 (Rochester), and the Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) in Germany. Jonas has received the Hyogo Prefecture Museum of Modern Art Prize at the Tokyo International Video Art Festival, the Polaroid Award for Video, and the American Film Institute Maya Deren Award for Video. In 2009, Jonas participated in the Venice Biennale, was named a United States Artists Visual Arts Fellow, and was awarded the Guggenheim’s first annual Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been invited to participate in Documenta six times (2012, 2002, 1987, 1982, 1977, 1972). Jonas currently teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.