Jonas Mekas The Camera Was Always Running Inesa Brasiske, Lukas Brasiskis, Kelly Taxter, Ed Halter, Melissa Ragona, Andrew Uroskie

Publication date:
25 Jan 2022
Yale University Press
256 pages: 279 x 210mm
950 color + 50 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


Exploring the life and work of avant-garde film’s most influential and intriguing figure

Between 1950 and his death, the filmmaker, videographer, photographer, archivist, and impresario Jonas Mekas (1922–2019) made more than sixty radically innovative, often diaristic films. He also founded film festivals, cooperatives, and magazines; wrote frequent film criticism and poetry; and taught. Jonas Mekas: The Camera Was Always Running is the first major publication in English on this fixture of the New York avant-garde scene, presenting an extensively illustrated, in-depth exploration of his radical art and restless life. Born in Lithuania, Mekas is perhaps best known as a key figure in expanded cinema—a form that uses immersive environments to disrupt the conventional relationship between audience and screen. The book brings his work alive on the page with sequences of stills from film and video, photographic series and installations, and archival documents. Essays by leading scholars examine his work and influence, and a timeline expands our understanding of his life. 

Kelly Taxter is director of the Parrish Art Museum, Long Island, New York. Inesa Brašiške is an art historian and curator based in Vilnius. Lukas Brašiškis is a curator and a PhD candidate in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University.

Lithuanian National Museum of Art, Vilnius
(November 19, 2021–February 27, 2022)
Jewish Museum, New York
(February 18–June 5, 2022)