Samuel Levi Jones is inspired by questions of power, representation and recorded history, and has built a body of work centered around the deconstruction of institutional texts. Talk to Me is a monumental, multi-panel composition comprising law books. Jones began by working with encyclopedias, creating assemblage paintings that draw attention to the stories and peoples who have been overlooked in the narrative of human history. With mounting tensions in the United States surrounding the police and their use of physical force, Jones began tearing up law books to create works that examine both his own personal experiences with law enforcement and how brutality is embedded in institutional systems – and not only in the law, but also in education or the medical industry. As its title suggests, Jones hopes that Talk to Me will encourage viewers to engage in difficult conversations about much-needed social change and reform.
Samuel Levi Jones (born 1978 in Marion, Indiana) takes materials across varying disciplines to deconstruct and mend their associated, often unjust histories. Jones often rearranges deconstructed books into grid-like compositions that expose their flaws and question their assumed command of the truth. As he explains: ‘I am ultimately thinking about information that is selectively left out.’ Jones lives and works in Chicago and Indianapolis.
Access the Audio Guide by Magalí Arriola.