Joan Jonas
1974, 16:13 min, b&w, sound

Produced at the seminal Florence-based video art studio Art/Tapes/22, Merlo is an early piece in which Jonas performs alone in several dramatic outdoor locations: a rocky gorge, a wind-tossed river, a balcony looking out over a valley. Cloaked in a dark, hooded robe, Jonas employs a long paper cone as a megaphone, singing melodies and keening, animal-like, into the landscape. The cone figure and the specific melodies that Jonas uses are recurring motifs in her work; their use here may be read against the fact that "merlo" is the Italian word for "blackbird."

Produced by Art/Tapes/22. Recording Engineers: Raffaele Corazziari and Alberto Pirelli.

Courtesy of The Kitchen Archives.