Critics’ Picks

View of “Cassandra C. Jones,” 2009. From left: Lightning Drawing I, 2009; Swarm, 2009; Iris, 2009; Disco Ball, 2009; Lightning Drawing II, 2009.

View of “Cassandra C. Jones,” 2009. From left: Lightning Drawing I, 2009; Swarm, 2009; Iris, 2009; Disco Ball, 2009; Lightning Drawing II, 2009.

San Francisco

Cassandra C. Jones

Eli Ridgway Gallery
172 Minna Street
August 1–September 5, 2009

Cassandra C. Jones is a taxonomist of the image; she classifies its variations, reliable patterns, and inclinations toward order. She obsessively accumulates digital and print photographs and homes in on similarly cropped, angled, or composed depictions of a particular subject. With these, she constructs digital collages that isolate and repeat an individual figure until it dissolves into line and shape, or short video loops she calls “snap-motion re-animations.” For example, in the video Single Frame Animation #10, 2009, the artist creates the illusion of a flock of geese flying in formation from a single photograph. Like the thumbed pages of a flipbook, the image incrementally shifts so that the bird at the center of the screen becomes animated in flight.

Given the ready availability of vast archives of images, Jones has no problem constructing animations from a lithe female figure erotically posed with a disco ball or a gloved hand holding a snowball. These, like the geese, become centrally fixed—almost suspended—elements in kaleidoscopic narratives. However, they are monotonous on repetition; a reminder of the barrage of undifferentiated imagery we experience daily. Even an animation of burning cars fails to elicit more than cursory consideration of the violence or terrorism that underpins them. The artist takes evident pleasure in an athlete’s precision and grace, however, and the most interesting works are those that simulate motion. A collage of a crouching football player writhes and vibrates, while her “Fermata” series, which depicts horses show-jumping, elicits fascination in both the subject’s instinctual symmetry and the pervasiveness of pictorial convention. It recalls Muybridge’s seminal studies of figures in motion, and though Jones reassembles rather than dissects her subjects, she similarly discerns the allure in codifying the visual world.