Discipline: Film/Video – experimental, Interdisciplinary Art – multimedia installation

William E. Jones

Discipline: Film/Video – experimental, Interdisciplinary Art – multimedia installation
Region: Los Angeles, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2020, 2021, 2023

William E. Jones is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. He has made two feature length experimental films, Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997), the documentary Is It Really So Strange? (2004), and videos including The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998) and Shoot Don’t Shoot (2012).

His work has been the subject of retrospectives at Tate Modern, London (2005); Anthology Film Archives, New York (2010); Austrian Film Museum, Vienna, and Oberhausen Short Film Festival (both 2011). He was included in the 1993 and 2008 Whitney Biennials and the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). His work has been shown at Musée du Louvre, Palais de Tokyo, and Cinémathèque française, Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

He has published nonfiction books including “Killed”: Rejected Images of the Farm Security Administration (2010), Halsted Plays Himself (2011), and True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell (2016); and a trilogy of novels: I’m Open to Anything (2019), I Should Have Known Better (2021), and I Didn’t See It Coming (forthcoming in 2023).

During the first iteration of Virtual MacDowell in 2020, he was researching a new essay. At MacDowell in 2023, he was collaborating with Rashawn Griffin on a project to be realized as a film within a multimedia installation. Their goal is to investigate how the image, sculpture, and body move in space, and how that translates into film.

Portrait by Maria Jose Govea for Red Bull Arts Detroit



William E. Jones worked in the Firth studio.

Originally a working barn perched atop the namesake hill of Hillcrest Farm, this building was converted to serve the arts in 1956. A grand set of windows was installed to make the large interior suitable for visual artists, bringing in abundant natural light from the north. The addition of a screened porch and accessible entrance ramp…

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