Joan Jonas’s They Come to Us without a Word is presented by the MIT List Visual Arts Center in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State at the 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia. Jonas, a pioneering figure in video and performance art, is occupying the entirety of the Pavilion’s five galleries with They Come to Us without a Word, 2015, a new video installation involving drawings and sculptural elements.

The exhibition received a Special Mention award by the international jury for the 56th Venice Biennale.

Co-curated by Paul C. Ha, Director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center and Ute Meta Bauer, Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, They Come to Us without a Word evolved out of an earlier work, Reanimation, first presented as a performance in 2010 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Jonas has taught for 15 years. Reanimation was partly inspired by the writings of Icelandic author Halldór Laxness and his poetic depiction of the natural world.

They Come to Us without a Word is organized by the MIT List Visual Arts Center and is presented by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The exhibition is produced with the collaboration of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York).

Picture left to right: Ute Meta Bauer, Joan Jonas, her dog Ozu, and Paul C. Ha. Photo: Moira Ricci.


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