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Ghost in the throat

Kelly Kristin Jones


Filter Photo is pleased to present Ghost in the throat, a solo exhibition by Kelly Kristin Jones.


"As proverbial and often literal gatekeepers to our built environment, the neoclassical white column announces and asserts power—specifically white power. Since the founding of our country, this emulation of ancient “culture” has operated as a racially coded signal. Carefully placed and maintained, these ornaments help sustain the mutually constitutive relationship between aesthetics and race. In addition to marking sites of civic authority, columns and other knock-offs of decorative Greco-Roman motifs have come to characterize the middle-class domestic space.


Ghost in the throat repurposes both column and camera to bear witness to a privileged and problematic narrative that pervades the traditional suburban homestead.


It includes:
My neighbors’ columns.
My grandmother’s photographs.
My mother’s garden.


Upon entering the gallery, Orders of Empire, a large pile of collected decorative white columns spills across the floor. Since 2019, I have sourced over 100 decorative neoclassical white columns from estate sales for this ongoing work. Previously used on front porches and in formal parlors to signal class and race, the columns are made from a variety of materials including plaster, pressboard, and plastic resin.


Installed on and against the walls surrounding Orders of Empire are large black-and-white photographs made in the Chicago suburbs by moonlight, as well as several brightly lit still life arrangements of collected markers. I document each (small) act of resistance and rebuttal with my large-format camera. Images made out-of-doors document my actions against contested objects on private property. After printing out digitally manipulated prints to scale, I trespass to cover up and conceal the objects. I use tape and paper to, if only fleetingly, interrupt these false narratives and open space for a new kind of telling.


Each action and reordering of these objects ultimately presses for an acknowledgement of the long history of subversion, appropriation, and denial that white women, like me, uphold. Using found materials, staging illegal interventions, and (mis)using traditional photograph-based tooling, I try to co-pt the tools of the historically advantaged. The shadow is cast and the scars remain. But, by leaning into my own history as well as the history of the photographic medium, I consider the way women continue to serve the patriarchy."

—Kelly Kristin Jones

Kelly Kristin Jones was raised on the westside of Chicago and received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships including a 2021 Illinois Arts Council Agency Grant, a 2019 Chicago Artists Coalition HATCH residency, LATITUDE residency, and Luminarts Cultural Foundation Project Grant. She was a featured artist in the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

This exhibition is partially sponsored by The Illinois Arts Council Agency.


Exhibition Dates: May 5th - June 16th, 2023
Gallery Reception: TBD
Location: Filter Space | 1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 207
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 AM – 5 PM

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