Exhibitions: in Milan ‘Jonas Mekas. Cinema is young!’, a tribute to the Lithuanian director

The exhibition traces the works of the master through films, videos, photos and documents

Cineteca Milano inaugurates the exhibition ‘Jonas Mekas. Cinema Is Young!’ curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi who in Italy concludes ‘Jonas Mekas 100!’, the international program of initiatives promoted by the Lithuanian Culture Institute to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the founding director of the New American Cinema Group.

‘Cinema is young!’ it is the arrival point of an itinerant route that has crossed the peninsula from Rome to Naples, passing through Bologna, Pesaro and Venice. It is also, in the words of the curators, the final chapter of a trilogy dedicated to the artist: “If the exhibition that has just ended at the Mattatoio in Rome had a retrospective character and the one at the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion in Bologna concentrated on the symbol of tree, the project we thought up for the Cineteca di Milano aims to highlight Mekas’ position in the history of Western cinema”.

Set up in the halls of the MIC – Interactive Museum of Cinema, the exhibition emphasizes the cinematic, educational and relational nature of the exhibition space at the same time. A selection of films, videos, photographic series and documents that exemplify the director’s seventy-year production are exhibited within the vast collection of the Milanese institution. Mekas’ work is presented as a nodal point in the path that from the origins of the cinema goes towards the new frontiers of the digital.

The exhibition also expands into the two halls of the Cineteca di Milano through a review of films curated by Matteo Pavesi and Francesco Urbano Ragazzi. Furthermore, the Cineteca di Milano has chosen to present the great filmmaker Jonas Mekas with a review of 21 titles entitled “Per Mekas. Classics in homage to the world of Jonas Mekas” which include films that the director himself has known in his work as a filmmaker, from which he was inspired, whose themes he shared or from which he even distanced himself (the calendar of this review can also be found below).

Of note is the special event that anticipates the exhibition on Friday 14 April at 20:30 at the Cinema Arlecchino, where ‘Fragments of Paradise’ by KD Davison will be screened. Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2022, the film tells the extraordinary life of Mekas through an exciting excavation of the artist’s archive.