Department of Art and Art Professions

Washington Square Windows: William E. Jones

 

 

 

William E. Jones

Two Explosions

 

December 20, 2012 - March 30, 2013

Curated by Michael Cohen

 

 

80wse is pleased to present the premier of multi-media artist William E. Jones’s video and photographic work Two Explosions in its 80WSE Windows Gallery.  The exhibition will run from December 20th, 2012 – March 30th, 2013 and was organized by 80wse curator Michael Cohen.

In this exhibition, Jones explores the forgotten histories of Greenwich Village and America.  The installation’s images date from the early 70’s and include a large scale photograph of the ruins of an 11th St. townhouse, footage of the aftermath of a Pentagon bombing playing on two monitors, and two large panels of text from the Weather Underground’s first communinqué.

For the exhibition Jones has utilized footage obtained from the National Archives depicting the aftermath of a bomb detonated at the Pentagon in May 1972, credited to the Weather Underground, a radical faction formerly part of Students for a Democratic Society. The blast was timed to simultaneously mark Ho Chi Minh’s birthday and protest the war in Viet Nam. At 18 West 11th Street, only a few blocks from the present site of 80WSE Gallery, stood a townhouse destroyed in March 1970, when a bomb intended for a protest action detonated accidentally.

This accident, which killed three people associated with the Weathermen, was a pivotal moment for the history of this group.  Law enforcement agencies were alerted to the violent plans of the Weathermen, and their members became wanted people. The group immediately went into hiding, becoming the Weather Underground. In the days that followed the explosion, the organization resolved to target only property, not human beings, and in subsequent protests, no more people died as a result of their actions.

For Jones, the main audiences for the exhibition are visitors to Washington Square Park who come to enjoy the area’s historical ambiance, and New York University students, groups that will have occasion to reflect upon events important to the history of American politics but generally absent from conventional textbooks, even though they happened less than fifty years ago.

 

 

William E. Jones is based in Los Angeles where he is represented by the David Kordansky Gallery.  He has had recent solo shows at White Cube, London (2012); Kordansky Gallery (2011); Galleria Rafaella Cortese, Milan; Andrew Roth Gallery, New York, and Veneklasen/Werner, Berlin (all 2010).  Jones will have solo exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the St. Louis Museum and Glasgow’s Modern Institute in 2013.

Notable group exhibitions Jones has participated in include Les Dérives de l’imaginaire, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; RAY 2012 Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt/RheinMain, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; No Person May Carry a Fish into a Bar, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA; American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; (all 2012); “Untitled” (Death by Gun), 12th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2011); and the 2008 Whitney Biennial.