All posts by Ann Jones

About Ann Jones

London-based artist and educator who somehow seldom gets time to actually make any work, who writes about art, somewhat irregularly, at ImageObjectText.com and occasionally contributes to MostlyFilm.com – writing about art, mostly.

Newspapers Matter

MostlyFilm’s intrepid art correspondent Ann Jones considers collage and other uses of newspaper in art, prompted by current exhibitions devoted to the work of Hannah Höch, Richard Hamilton and Gustav Metzger

Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? - Richard Hamilton
Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? – Richard Hamilton

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Ways of screening

By Ann Jones
Gerard Byrne at Whitechapel

We’ve been here before on Mostly Film, looking at the way moving image works are shown in the gallery space, but maybe, just maybe, it’s something that warrants revisiting from time to time because there is no one right way. And there’s always the chance that this will turn out to be about something else after all.

Anyway, what’s got me thinking about screen art in the gallery again is a combination of seeing Gerard Byrne’s A state of neutral pleasure at the Whitechapel Gallery recently and a nagging sense of guilt about not having written about Gillian Wearing’s show in the same space. The exhibitions are very different but among the things they share are a blurring of the boundaries between fact and fiction through the use of restaging, a sense of the televisual and an unusual approach to bringing moving image work to the screen.

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The Turner Prize 2012

by Ann Jones

Luke Fowler’s All Divided Selves

Although film and video have been a regular feature of Turner Prize exhibitions for years, it’s rare for two of the four short-listed artists to be working with moving image, and I don’t think I can remember a previous show with raked seating more akin to a cinema than a gallery space. What perhaps makes this more unusual is that, arguably, it’s the other two artists on the shortlist who are the storytellers (although one of them explicitly denies the narrative aspect of his work and the other one so totally fails to engage my attention that I’ve no way of being sure).

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Artists on Film

Ann Jones reviews a summer of documentaries about artists

It’s not all that often that a documentary about an artist gets a cinema release so for there to be not one, not two but three films about artists doing the (albeit limited) rounds this summer, albeit on very limited releases, seems sufficiently unusual to be noteworthy. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present and Eames: the Architect and the Painter are very different films about very different artists but there are plenty of common threads and each raises interesting questions about the nature of art practice and the role of the artist.

There is, of course, nothing inherently interesting or unusual about the lives of artists,  though Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramović are perhaps exceptions –  with their life and work being inseparable – and Charles and Ray Eames arguably played a major role in defining the look of post-war domestic spaces,  so that their work is tied to our lives before one even starts to unpick their relationship. But though in all cases there are aspects of the artists’ lives that could easily hold our attention, all three films rightly concentrate on the work to a greater or lesser extent, albeit in very different ways.

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Bus of Hope

Ann Jones looks at Richard Wilson’s Italian-Job-inspired artwork

Coach

I can’t remember when I first saw The Italian Job or what I thought of it with any degree of accuracy but I put the vague affection I have for it down to the Minis – I’ve only owned three cars and two of them were Minis (one white, one blue: by rights I should now be driving a red Mini rather than a black VW). Well, that and not remembering much about it; I have a sneaking suspicion that that might help. But even I remember a few key things and chief amongst those (apart from quite how beautiful Michael Caine was then) is the cliff-hanger ending and the red, white and blueness of both Minis and coach. This is a flag-waving film, with the coach – precariously balancing half on and half off the cliff at the end – as the flag. And of course it’s a 1960s film, and – caution: ridiculous generalisation approaching – the sixties were all about London. So in this year of London-centred flag-waving, there’s a certain logic to taking another, playful look at The Italian Job. In Bexhill-on-Sea. In the form of an art installation.

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Artists’ Film Club at the ICA

by Ann Jones

“What a pity you’re an architect, Monsieur. You’d make a sensational partner (After Josephine Baker) (2011)”

I like the idea of the Artists’ Film Club at the ICA – a monthly(ish) screening of film/video works held in the ICA theatre – but somehow I never get round to going until last week, with a remit to check it out for MostlyFilm. Once I was there, I pretty quickly remembered why I don’t usually bother with things like this, though I was sort of won round by the end. The programme for Sound and Vision was made up of works by artists who contributed to SOUNDWORKS, an exhibition of sound works currently accessible through the ICA’s website, and was billed as taking ‘the relationship between sound and moving image as a starting point to consider sound as a performative gesture in the delivery of narrative and historical discourse’. Um, okay. Well, as it happens I am interested in sound both as an element of film/video art and as a medium in its own right, so, pretentious briefing notes aside, surely this would be interesting?

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The Robinson Institute

by Ann Jones

Patrick Keiller is a hard man to describe: an architect who makes films, a filmmaker who makes art, an artist who curates installations. He’s certainly someone who seems to keep his options open so that his films may also become books, or art installations such as this one. Perhaps woollier descriptions like cultural commentator are needed. Or perhaps it’s better to think about what connects different aspects of his work. At the heart of much of Keiller’s work is the notion that by looking at the past we can find out about the future. Continue reading The Robinson Institute