Journal ARS 53 (2020) 1

Christelle NICOLAS

Man Who Invents Himself: Americanness and Insularity in the Works of Jonas Mekas and Beatrice Gibson


For humans who are inventing themselve, there is a way both geographical and imaginary: americanness with transcendalists (like Thoreau), insularity with Deleuze. These way is a literal search for imbrication between physical and mental spaces. The two artworks here are examples of these recreation by the separation both achieved by the desert island and a new world, America. These recreations, from Gibson and from Mekas, offer several levels of imbrication between: different temporalities (past and present); different places (Lituania and America); different voices (from inhabitants and from Bioy Casares text); different types of discourses (science-fiction and ethnographic). In other words, spatiality with Gibson, Mekas, Casares and Thoreau is a way of doing to understand history process: not chronological or linear, but discontinuous, a kind of telescoping of blocks of space-time (Deleuze). The experience of these artworks allows the viewer to reconsider the dialectic ancient/new in favor of near/ distant, and also the possibility of the simultaneity and not only succession.