William E. Jones
"Killed" and Resurrected

All Male Mash Up, 2006, William E. Jones
February 2 to 5, 2011
 
Any artist who can evoke the world of gay pornography and the aesthetic of Straub/Huillet or Godard/Gorin in one and the same cinematic breath, must by definition resist definition. With his film, video and photo works of the past two decades and his critical writings and publications, this California-based “maximal minimalist” (Olaf Möller) has been an important presence in many circles at once: “William E. Jones has rethought hackneyed boundaries between art and pornography, fandom and critique, Hollywood and other kinds of filmmaking. Focusing his lens on the intersection of Labor and Eros, he offers a study of the economy and legislation of the aesthetic as it is discombobulated by the erotic.” (Bruce Hainley, artforum)
 
Born in 1962 in Ohio, Jones makes films, reconstructs and restores works from marginal masters, teaches, curates, writes about the cinema and creates art books in the same manner that he makes films. A cycle becomes visible: what unites all of these activities is the struggle against oblivion and decay, the fight against artistic and social marginalization.
 
Jones’ formal spectrum is extremely broad.  It ranges from a documentary study of Morrissey fandom (Is It Really So Strange?, 2004) and partly autobiographical essay films (Massillon, 1991; Finished, 1997) to his unearthing of films from U.S. police archives (Tearoom, 2007); from found-footage works (More British Sound; All Male Mash Up, both 2006) to multi-part installations (the Discrepancy series, 2008-10). The borders of his work are as fluid as they are transparent. The key to Jones’ aesthetic is arguably his 2006 film v.o., which joins together what bourgeois culture would prefer to keep separate: porn by Joe Gage or Tom de Simone and art by Manoel de Oliveira or Luis Buñuel; one provides the image, the other, sound.
 
William E. Jones will be present in Vienna throughout the retrospective – his first in continental Europe. One of the six programs will take the form of a lecture, during which Jones will focus on his non-film works, in addition to presenting several shorts. 
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