A light-hearted survey course that I, Alexis Clements, put together for my former work colleagues upon the occasion of our weekly beer drinking celebration. Some of the links are dead (I apologize in advance for that), but some people seem to enjoy this, so I've left it up. Click here to return to my homepage.

A Brief Survey of Artistic Representations of Social Interaction:
From the Caves of Lascaux to the Halls of CIW

Unit 9 - Escape from Flatland

Kim Jones, escape from flatland (installation view)
vehicles, left to right: tricycle, rocket, sled, 1999-2004
Pierogi 2000


Kim Jones, Untitled (War Drawing)
Graphite on paper
11 x 14 inches

Kim Jones as 'Mudman'
October 1975
October Fest
Mt. Pinos, CA

Because this week marks the date that one year ago was the start of these United States war with Iraq, I could not help but have this thought with me when putting together our little survey for the week. But I promise that I will go no further than this in describing that war or my opinions about it. Rather I will turn to this week's artist.

Kim Jones is a man who is not extremely well known in the larger art world, though he manages a small group of devoted collectors and fans. His work ranges from drawings, to paintings, to sculptural and performance pieces. At present he has a show at Pierogi 2000 (yes, pierogi like the little potato-filled Polish equivalent of ravioli), a disgustingly hip little gallery in the most disgustingly hip area of New York City, which isn't even on the big island anymore-Williamsburg, Brooklyn (a neighbrhood which, to make the connection as to why the gallery is called the thing that it is, used to be filled almost entirely with Poles and still retains the remnants of its past, such as the decaying sign that reads 'PIEROGI' at the top of the door to the warehouse in which the now disgustingly hip gallery of the same name resides). This show is titled, none other than, escape from flatland (yes, of course, all in lowercase letters-they are hip, after all).

Anyhow this show and much of the work of Jones has a very Mad Max kind of feel to it. When viewing these works one can easily imagine racing through deserts on monstrous machinery, Tina Turner in all her armored finery at the helm as you journey toward something unknown. And this image is only reinforced by the thoughts and visions of Kim Jones performing as his 'Mudman' character, summoning some sort of primordial god of the earth to give courage, to strengthen, to wisen, and perhaps even to relieve the burden which he bears on his back.


Many bits of meaning could be derived from this work, particularly in light of the activities which the United States has undertaken now and in the past, and the notions which compel them (or us, in my case, as I am a citizen of these States). But this is no morality lesson, and so, I'll leave you instead with a quote from Mudman himself: I draw x's and dots, black tanks and white ones. The[y]... fight each other for domination of the maze in which they live. The 'troops' are moved–or killed–by erasing and redrawing them. The remaining ghost image becomes a history of their movements. Each side has its own city (fortress) with thick walls. Each city (fortress) usually has living quarters, places of worship, offices, factories, supplies and jails. Areas external to the cities are composed of lakes, rivers, or oceans. Individual x- or dot-men and the tanks need bridges and/or boats to cross these bodies of water. This is a two-dimensional world. The drawing can continue indefinitely.

Related Links:
The website for Kim Jones' show at Pierogi2000.

The chronology of Mad Max.

Some literary reflections on desert life around the world.

Reflections on this week's one year anniversary from a few differing viewpoints(all in english): Aljazeera, Fox News, the Guardian, Radio Netherlands, Xinhua News, and George W. Bush.

A little something extra, just for those of you out there who want to know for what reason our own Takoma Park, MD made national headlines, or at least made the front page of the Fox News website!!!