Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I am for art we do for each other as friends

This Jonas Mekas quote speaks to the reason I started Aurora Picture Show, and everything I believe about art.

"In the times of bigness, spectaculars, one hundred million dollar movie productions, I want to speak for the small, invisible acts of human spirit: so subtle, so small, that they die when brought out under the clean lights. I want to celebrate the small forms of cinema: the lyrical form, the poem, the watercolor, etude, sketch, portrait, arabesque, and bagatelle, and little 8mm songs. In the times when everybody wants to succeed and sell, I want to celebrate those who embrace social and daily failure to pursue the invisible, the personal things that bring no money and no bread and make no contemporary history, art history or any other history. I am for art which we do for each other, as friends." –From Anti-100 Years of Cinema Manifesto, Jonas Mekas, 1996

Read the full manifesto on INCITE!

Pictured: Jonas Mekas receiving a fruit basket from Andrea Grover and the 2009 Artist Award from NAMAC


James Parrish said...


I stumbled across your blog while looking for an online version of Jonas Mekas' "Anti-100 Years of Cinema Manifesto" to link to. I have a framed copy of poster version that Anthology Film Archives had made up years ago; his manifesto was an inspiration when I was in the early years of running the Richmond Flicker (

Sure wish I could've been at the NAMAC conference -- for this award presentation in particular. I labored for several years to get Jonas to come to Richmond, VA as a guest of our James River Film Festival in 2002. It was a wonderful experience to have him here.

Anyway, I wanted to say and let you know there's a typo in the quote you pulled out (which is of course in the version you pulled your quote from). I've already emailed Pip with the correction.

... I want to celebrate those who embrace social and daily "tailor" to pursue the invisible ...

The word "tailor" is the typo. It should read "failure" -- ... I want to celebrate those who embrace social and daily failure to pursue the invisible ...

I figured you'd want to correct it.

Hope you and your family are well. Let me know when your history of microcinemas comes out. I'd love to get a copy.


James Parrish
Co-Founder, Richmond Moving Image Co-op,

GENTLERIDEVAN is the home of Andrea Grover, curator, artist, writer, etc. said...

Thanks for the correction, James! Fixed. I got the quote from Incite! Journal, and will pass this info on to Brett.

Best wishes,