JESSE JONES

MAHOGANY

Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces is pleased to present new work by one of Ireland’s most accomplished young artists, Jesse Jones. GCAS will be showing her critically acclaimed film Mahogany which premiered at the 2009 Istanbul Biennial.

Art Exhibition previously on at Gertrude Contemporary in Australia.
From Friday 05 February 2010 to Saturday 27 February 2010

Mahogany image

Published by anonymous on Friday 18 December 2009.
Contact the publisher.

Mahogany was filmed in Cooper Pedy during Jones’ residency at GCAS in May 2009, and features a cast comprised from members of Melbourne’s contemporary art community. Jones’ practice focuses on the embedded political and social histories that are present within everyday life, and with this work Jones explores the idea of a utopian ‘Paradise City’.

Jones’ practice focuses on the embedded political and social histories that are present within everyday life, and with this work Jones explores the idea of a utopian ‘Paradise City’. Jones drew from Bertolt Brecht’s 1927 play “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany”, highlighting political ideologies and their spectral residues within history. This work was described by The Guardian UK as “a masterful rejigging of Bertolt Brecht’s bitter fable about the fall of a city dedicated to pleasure.”

Using Brecht’s mode of distanciation, Mahogany is presented as a non-place that can be read as a critique of present political conditions. Mahogany – in both the play and the film, is a town embedded with metaphorical associations to ideas of post utopia. It questions ideas of convergence and the systemic injustices inherent in capitalism as well as the possibilities of its collapse.

This work furthers Jones’ explorations of moments when hidden histories come to the surface, such as demonstrations or strikes. Often referencing B movies or pop music video forms, Jones’ work employs popular culture as an expression of this collective narrative of history that can also be a site of shared
memory.