Joan Jonas. Mirage (installation detail). 1976/1994/2003. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Richard Massey, Clarissa Alcock Bronfman, Agnes Gund, and Committee on Media Funds. Courtesy Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York

Inspired by a trip the artist took to India, Joan Jonas’s Mirage (1976/2005) was originally conceived as a 1976 performance for the screening room of New York’s Anthology Film Archives. In it, Jonas carried out a series of movements, such as running as a form of percussion and as gestural drawing, while interacting with a variety of sculptural components and video projections. In 1994, the artist repurposed these elements—metal cones suggesting the form of volcanoes, videos of erupting volcanoes, wooden hoops, a mask, photographs, and chalkboards, among other items—as a discrete installation, which was itself reconfigured in 2005. At MoMA, the artist once again reimagines the work in an installation that combines elements of ritual, memory, repetition, and rehearsal with games, drawn actions, and syncopated rhythms.

The exhibition is organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art.

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with MoMA’s publication of Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art (June 2010).

The Performance Exhibition Series is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

Licensing of MoMA images and videos is handled by Art Resource (North America) and Scala Archives (all other geographic locations). All requests should be addressed directly to those agencies, which supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to