MIT Artist Joan Jonas Receives Japan’s Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy

100 million yen prize (about US$880,000) recognizes pioneering
contributions to new forms of artistic expression

Inamori Foundation
today announced that it has presented its 34th
annual Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy to Joan Jonas, a professor
emerita at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, during a Sat., Nov. 10
ceremony here.

Jonas has exerted a pioneering influence on contemporary visual arts for
nearly 50 years. In the early 1970s she established a new artistic form
by integrating performance art and video. Her Vertical Roll
(1972) is regarded as an archetype in the history of video art,
integrating a live performance with its real-time video screened on a TV
monitor onstage — including the discrepancy in time and space between
audience viewpoints and camera angles, as well as the effect of
electrical delay within the system.

Her masterpiece Reanimation (2010/2012/2013) is a labyrinth-like
work filled with the nature and mythology of Iceland, along with
drawings, sounds and segments of her own earlier art. The narrative
structure of her works encourages audiences to decode the art in their
own ways, and achieve diverse interpretations — including
misinterpretations — rather than forcing them into preconceived

Jonas has received many previous distinctions, including the Lifetime
Achievement Award of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Maya Deren
Award of the American Film Institute. Her rising influence is evident
through her multimedia installation at the 2015 Venice Biennale,
regarded by some as the world’s most influential art exhibition; her
five-month exhibit at London’s Tate Modern this year, billed as the
largest presentation of her art ever shown in the UK; and exhibits of
her work planned for 2019 and 2020 at Japan’s Rohm Theatre and Kyoto
City University of Arts.

The Kyoto
is Japan’s highest private award for global achievement,
consisting of academic honors, a 20-karat gold medal, and a cash gift of
100 million yen (about US$880,000). Established by Dr. Kazuo Inamori in
1984, the Kyoto Prize has been presented to 108 individuals and one
group (the Nobel Foundation) — collectively representing 17 nations.
Individual laureates range from scientists, engineers and researchers to
philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians and film
directors. The United States has produced the most recipients (48),
followed by Japan (23), the United Kingdom (12), and France (8). See all
laureates by year at http://www.kyotoprize.org/en/laureates/list_by_year/.

here to download ceremony photos
(Courtesy of Inamori

#A.) Joan Jonas at the 34th annual Kyoto Prize
ceremony, Nov. 10, 2018.

#B.) Joan Jonas receives the Kyoto Prize.

#C.) The Kyoto Prize ceremony, Nov. 10, 2018, at the Kyoto International
Conference Center, Kyoto, Japan.

#D.) The 2018 Kyoto Prize Laureates include (from left)
Neuroscientist Dr. Karl Deisseroth (U.S.A.) in Advanced Technology;
Mathematician Dr. Masaki Kashiwara (Japan) in Basic Sciences; and Ms.
Joan Jonas (U.S.A.) in Arts and Philosophy.

Photos of Ms. Jonas’s works are available upon request.


Media Contacts:
(U.S.) Jay Scovie, North American Liaison,
Inamori Foundation
+1-619-517-3037 or jay.scovie@gmail.com
Daisuke Ota, Public Relations Division
+81-75-353-7272 or press@inamori-f.or.jp


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