William E Jones (4 stars)

Film works based on archive documentary footage from Los Angeles-based provocateur

William E Jones

Three film-works by this Los Angeles-based provocateur 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 TV 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. Projecting the films 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 Modern Institute, 3 Aird's Lane, Glasgow, until Sat 15 Jun

William E Jones

William E Jones is an LA-based artist who uses found images from TV, film and video to make works that explore the connection between visual images and power. Among his works are feature-length films such as Massillon, an autobiographical essay about his childhood in Ohio and Is It Really So Strange?, a fascinating…


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