Portrait Jonas Mekas    Jonas Mekas
Photo © Peter Sempel from the film «Jonas in the Desert», 1994

Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas was born in Semeniskiai, Lithuania

Jonas Mekas and his brother, Adolfas, were taken by the Nazis and imprisoned in a forced labor camp in Nazi Germany for eight months

Studies of philosophy at the University of Mainz

Emigration with his brother to the U.S. settling in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in New York

Screening of his first own films

Editor and chief of Film Culture

Starting his ‘Movie Journal’ column for the Village Voice

Co-founding the Film-Makers' Cooperative (FMC) and the Filmmakers' Cinematheque in 1964, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, one of the world's largest and most important repositories of avant-garde films.

His own output ranging from narrative films (Guns of the Trees, 1961) to documentaries (the Brig, 1963) and to ‘diaries’ such as Walden (1969); Lost, Lost, Lost, (1975); Reminiscences of a Voyage to Lithuania, (1972); Zefiro torna, (1992) to As I was Moving Ahead, Occasionally I saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2001) being screened extensively at festivals and museums around the world.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. held a lecture entitled ‘meet the artist’ and screened Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania. In its annual selection of 25 films, Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania was esteemed by the United States National Film Preservation Board to be selected for preservation at the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. His films were also screened at Art Basel Miami and Mekas was honored at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's award ceremony for his significant contribution to American film culture.

Opening of the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center in Vilnius, Lithuania with exhibitions focusing on art and film collections by Mekas and his friend and artistic collaborator George Maciunas, founder of the Fluxus art movement. Plans to build a Fluxus Research Institute.

He currently lives and works in New York.

Guggenheim Fellowship

Creative Arts Award, Brandeis University

Mel Novikoff Award, San Francisco Film Festival

Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Ministry of Culture, France

Lithuanian National Award

Pier Paolo Pasolini Award

International Documentary Film Association Award, Los Angeles

‘Jonas Mekas: The Beauty of Friends Being Together Quartet’, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York

‘Jonas Mekas, Film Screenings’, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.
‚Jonas Mekas: Solo Exhibition’, Baltic Art Center, Visby
‘The Expanded Eye’, Kunsthaus Zurich
‘Onestar Stop’, Galerie Erna Hòcy, Brussels

‘Jonas Mekas - Celebration of the Small and the Personal in the Time of Bigness’, Contemporary Art Center Vilnius (CAC)
‘Always a Little Further’, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 51st International Exhibition
‘Jonas Mekas’, Contemporary Art Center Vilnius (CAC)

‘Moderna Museet’, Baltic Art Center, Visby
La Biennale di Venezia. Installation at the Utopia Station Pavillion
‘Jonas Mekas: A Camera for Jonas’. ‘To Petrarca Who Walked Over the Hills of Provence’ and a 24 hour video installation, ‘Dedication to Ferdinand Lòger’. Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Documenta 11, Kassel
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

‘Voilà - Le Monde dans la T®te’, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Films and Installations

Museum of Contemporary Art, Vilnius

Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris

Guns of the Trees (1962), 75 minutes
Film Magazine of the Arts (Summer 1963), 20 minutes
The Brig (1964), 68 minutes
Award Presentation to Andy Warhol (1964), 12 minutes
Report from Millbrook (1965/ 1966), 12 minutes
Walden (Diaries, Notes, and Sketches), (filmed 1964-1968, edited 1968-69), 3 hours
Hare Krishna (1966), 4 minutes
Notes on the Circus (1966), 12 minutes
Cassis (1966), 4.5 minutes
The Italian Notebook (1967), 15 minutes
Time and Fortune Vietnam Newsreel (1968), 4 minutes
Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1971- 1972), 82 minutes
Lost, Lost, Lost (1976), 2 hours, 58 minutes
In Between: 1964-8 (1978), 52 minutes
Notes for Jerome (1978), 45 minutes
Paradise Not Yet Lost (a/k/a Oona's Third year) (1979), 96.5 minutes
Street Songs (1966/1983) 10.5 minutes
Cup/Saucer/Dancers/Radio (1965/1983), 23 minutes
Erik Hawkins Excerpts from ‘Here and Now with Watchers’/Lucia Dlugoszewski Performs (1983), 6 minutes
He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (1969/1985), 2.5 hours
Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol (1990), 35 minutes
Mob of Angels/ the Baptism (1991), video, 60 minutes
Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (1992), 34 minutes
The Education of Sebastian or Egypt Regained (1992), video, 6 hours
Imperfect 3-Image films (1995), 6 minutes
Imperfect 3-Image films (1995), 6 minutes
On My Way to Fujiyama (1995), 25 minutes
Happy Birthday to John (1996), 24 minutes
Memories of Frankenstein (1996), 95 minutes
Birth of a Nation (1997), 85 minutes
Scenes from Allen's Last Three Days on Earth as a Spirit (April 1997), video, 67 minutes
Letter from Nowhere-Laiskas is Niekur N.1 (1997), video, 75 minutes
Song of Avignon (1998), 5 minutes
This Side of Paradise: Fragments of an Unfinished Biography (1999), 25 minutes
Laboratorium (1999), video, 63 minutes
This Side of Paradise (1999), 16mm, 35 minutes
Notes on Andy's Factory (1999), video, 64 minutes
Autobiography of a Man Who Carried his Memory in his Eyes (2000), video, 53 minutes
Song of Avignon (2000), 8 minutes
Mysteries (1966-2001), 34 minutes
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000), 288 minutes
Autobiography of a Man Whose Memory Was in His Eyes (2000)
Remedy for Melancholy (2000), video, 20 minutes
Ein Maerchen (2001), video, 6 minutes
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (1950-2003), 15 minutes
Mozart & Wein and Elvis (2000), 3 minutes
Travel Songs (1967-1981), 28 minutes
Dedication to Leger (2003), 24 hours worth of footage, video installation
Notes on Utopia (2003), video, 30 minutes
Letter from Greenpoint (2004), video, 80 minutes