Department of Art and Art History News

Ann Reynolds pens main essay for Joan Jonas’ Venice Biennale Catalog

Performance still, Jonas pulling wagon with stuffed dog
Joan Jonas, The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things, performance at Dia Beacon, 2005. Photo by Paula Court

Professor Ann Reynolds has been commissioned to write the main essay for the catalog accompanying Joan Jonas’ exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Reynolds’ commission comes after more than a decade of her work with Jonas.

Reynolds first met Jonas at Dia:Beacon in 2006 at one of the performances of The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things. Reynolds continued to build a close relationship with Jonas over the years and has provided students from the Department of Art and Art History with the extraordinary opportunity to work with one of the foremost performance artists.

In the fall of 2009, Jonas was an artist-in-residence at the Department of Art and Art History. She gave a public lecture, led a performance workshop for graduate students, and worked with Reynolds’ undergraduate seminar. Jonas returned in 2012 to rehearse and perform The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things at Texas Performing Arts during Fusebox Festival, an annual hybrid art festival. Students in Reynolds’ 2012 seminar class participated in rehearsals and worked closely with Jonas.

Zoe Berg (B.F.A. Studio Art, 2013) studied Jonas’ work in the 2012 seminar. Berg described, “Through Ann’s instruction, we learned to pull apart layers of performance. Ann is an extremely open and generous person. Her class happened at a time that validated what I was interested in and doing. Jonas’ persistence in her vision, strength, and continued growth is incredibly inspiring.”

The Venice Biennale opens May 2015. The essay for the catalog will be a collaboration between Reynolds and Jonas. Reynolds said, “We hope that my essay will be accompanied by a collection of images that Joan and I associate with the work.”

Ann Reynolds is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research, publications, and teaching focus on U.S. and European art, architecture, and visual culture after 1930; feminist theory, gender, and sexuality studies; the historiography of exhibition practice; and film. She received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.