Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple by Jonas Mekas
Missoni Boutique: 1009 Madison Avenue, New York
October 25th, 2017 – January 31st, 2018
In celebration of her 20th year as Creative Director of Missoni, Angela Missoni has presented the third installment of the Italian design house’s Surface Conversion Project, which commissions artists to reinvent the brand’s retail spaces.
Missoni tapped poet and avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas to mastermind this latest iteration, titled Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple, which opened on October 25th. The exhibition, curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi in collaboration with A Palazzo Gallery, is an homage to New York City, where he and his family found refuge following World War II. Mekas’s work spans both floors of the Missoni boutique, starting with a split-screen video installation of that greets viewers from the shop windows. The first floor features a series of floral film stills installed in glass. On the second floor, a special version of Mekas’s 1969 masterpiece Walden is projected onto two screens, one representing winter and the other summer.
The inspiration for the exhibition and its title stemmed from a journal entry written by Mekas on October 9th, 1997:
“Last night I had an ecstatic dream.
Suddenly before my eyes appeared fields and fields of wild flowers. They were passing by my eyes. Field after field, the meadows full of flowers in the most exquisite colors: blue, yellow, red, purple and they were all so real. I could almost smell them, like in my childhood.
I told this dream to Auguste this morning. So he said, you know, this dream tells you that in your previous life you were a bee. Yes, I said, it must be so. I always liked flowers, I always gathered them as a child for the healing woman of my village. She trusted only me. I knew all the flowers of our village and the neighboring villages too. So you may be right. I always had a very personal relationship with flowers.”