Wednesday, 17 April 2013

William E. Jones


The Modern Institute, 3 Aird's Lane, Glasgow, until June 15th 2013
4 stars
Three film-works by Los Angeles-based provocateur Jones  take notions 
of power drawn from archive documentary footage, then, by 
recontextualising each one via collaging, cut-ups and other treatments, 
liberates them from their authoritarian origins.

'Shoot Don't Shoot' (2012) draws from out-dated police training footage 
designed to educate trigger-happy boys in blue when to fire at a 
suspect. As a hip-looking black dude walks down the street, the 
stentorian voice-over sounds straight out of 1960s TV cop show, 
Dragnet. Both speak volumes about how institutions function. With two 
scenarios edited together, the non-linear result looks like cops and 
robbers as done by Godard.

There are more dual images in 'Bay of Pigs' (2012), which features 
split screen footage of US fighter planes bombing Cuba in the 1961 
failed invasion taken from the 1974 film, 'Giron.' This makes the 
planes look as though they were on some perfectly choreographed 
collision course, which, in a way, they were.

'Actual T.V. Pictures' (2013) is the most opaque of the three films, as 
it juxtaposes flickering images of US bombings of Vietnam with images 
of TV sets that beamed out the news footage. Beamed out to cover the 
gallery's three big walls and run consecutively, Jones has gone public 
with a crucial exposure of power games normally kept hidden from plain 
sight.

The List, April 2013

ends

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