Simone Jones and Lance Winn
End of Empire, 2011
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 05.02.15

In the film installation End of Empire, custom-built dolly tracking acts as projector support; the moving sculpture is both machine and image, statement and proposition.

Here, “empire” has multiple references: first, to New York’s iconic Empire State Building, and immediately afterward, to Andy Warhol’s equally iconic film, Empire, 1964, an eight-hour portrait of Manhattan’s famous building and dramatic climax site for an earlier classic, King Kong, 1933, with Fay Wray. It may – finally – refer to an end of the American empire.

For this work, Jones and Winn have recreated and animated Warhol’s famous static portrait. As the dolly apparatus retreats, the projected image slowly moves from the wall upward to the ceiling, engaging the viewer in a kinesthetic viewing experience that is intimately connected to the architectural space of the gallery. As the film image retraces its path inexorably to its original location, the viewer realizes that now, the building is no longer there. Only the background of a night skyline remains.

This change is oddly subtle and the shock understated: immediately one thinks of another disappeared tower, and the implication of an America newly vulnerable to attack. In just twenty minutes a new future is presaged, a comfortable certainty opened to total loss.

Simone Jones and Lance Winn, End of Empire, 2011, kinetic sculpture/video installation, 15:30 minutes, apparatus: 1.82 x 3.66 x 92 cm, installation dimensions variable (courtesy of the artists and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York)
Simone Jones

Born in Haliburton, ON, in 1966, Simone Jones is a multidisciplinary artist who works with film, video, sculpture and electronics. Jones graduated from the Ontario College of Art (OCA) with a concentration in Experimental Art and received her MFA in Sculpture Installation from York University, Toronto. She was the Jill Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art with a joint appointment in the School of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, from 2000 to 2003. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at OCAD University, Toronto, where she teaches in the Integrated Media Program.

Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Rodman Hall Art Centre, St. Catharines, ON; Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, ON; Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough, Scarborough, ON (2013); The Icebox, Crane Arts Center, Philadelphia (2012); Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York (2011); Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre, Banff, AB (2007); and Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA (2001). Her work has also been included in the group exhibitions Alex Colville Retrospective, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2014); Free Ride Art Space, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, Italy (2013); The White Show, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA (2013); MACHines, Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains, Enghien-les-Bains, France (2012); and Start/Stop, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (2008). Jones lives and works in Toronto and is represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.

Lance Winn

Born in Kansas City, MO, in 1970, Lance Winn is an artist, writer and curator who received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art (1996) with a concentration in painting. Winn’s work has been shown in the United States and abroad, and was the subject of a five-year survey at the Freedman Gallery at Albright College, Reading, PA (2007). His robotic projection collaborations with Simone Jones have been shown in Canada and the US. He contributed essays to the exhibition catalogues for Reproduction at Lemberg Gallery, Detroit (2001); Pause, a solo exhibition of work by Brian Bishop at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa (2005); and InWords, an exhibition he organized for the University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Most recently, he and René Marquez co-wrote a curatorial essay for The Object of Nostalgia at Columbia College, Chicago (2010). Winn is a professor at the University of Delaware, where he runs the MFA program, and is on faculty at the Center for Material Culture Study. He lives in Wilmington, DE.

BNLMTL 2014 - Panel with Simone Jones, Mikko Canini and Lynne Marsh