Tate Modern Film

Joan Jonas They Come to Us without a Word II

projection still

Joan Jonas They Come to Us without a Word II 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist

Discover an intricate web of ghost stories, projections, drawings and music in this free screening

Joan Jonas's inventive performance film evokes the fragility of nature in a rapidly changing environment. Developed in conjunction with the artist's exhibition for the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, They Come to Us without a Word II brings together original jazz compositions by Jonas's longtime collaborator Jason Moran; passages from authors Tessie Gillis, John Berger and Halldór Laxness; newspaper headlines; ghost tales from the eastern Canadian oral tradition; video footage spanning three decades; and several of the artist's signature props, such as cones, chalk, masks and mirrors. Marking Jonas's first collaboration with children, They Come to Us without a Word II is a poetic reflection on the world that these young performers are to inherit.

Three free screenings of this film are presented during March's Uniqlo Tate Late dedicated to Joan Jonas, complementing the free installation of Reanimation in the East Tank.


Joan Jonas They Come to Us without a Word II 2016, digital video, colour, sound, 73 min

Although the idea of my work involves the question of how the world is so rapidly and radically changing, I do not address the subject directly or didactically. Rather, the ideas are implied poetically through sound, light, and the juxtaposition of images of children, animals, and landscape.

Joan Jonas

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit


30 March 2018 at 18.00–19.15

30 March 2018 at 19.15–20.30

30 March 2018 at 20.30–21.45