Author: Rainer Ganahl --- Date: 11/20/95--- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

Kim Jones
War Boards
John Weber Gallery, back room
142 Greene Street, NYC
Oct. 21 - Nov. 18, 1995

Kim Jones entitles his relatively small works as well as his show "War Boards". These "boards" are very obsessive small pencil battlefields on a white acrylic painted wooden surface. The scenarios, the layout of the confrontations and the antagonists (x-men and dot-men) are rather absurd, very crowded and look like nightmares consisting of dots, lines and erasures.

The interesting thing isn't so much the seductive black and white surface of these graphite intensities but the absent image of war activities evoked by the title and the history of the artist. Kim Jones became known for his "Rat piece" in 1976 in which he worked somehow with the burning of rats - an activity that he learned while in Vietnam.

At a time where former top military officials from both sides of the Vietnam war are meeting personally in order to find out that the devastating war was unnecessary and was launched on the basis of void assumptions and cold war paranoia on the part of the Americans, it is important to at least have artists to do the work of mourning (Trauerarbeit - W. Benjamin) in their art work.

Collective violence is mostly inscribed in individual bodies and minds in order to be reworked and repressed. The return of the repressed becomes in Kim Jones work obsessively automated, a duty and a source of pleasure. He presses the pencil, erases it lustfully and attacks again. Kim Jones individualizes through the repetition of his catatonic drawings collective memory in a "male fantasy" for boys and industries. "War Boards" are therefore more a process and an attitude that became form, pain and pleasure. You are going to remember!

-Rainer Ganahl

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