Ronald Jones: 16 Isarstrasse

Exhibition Website

Sep 25 2016 - Feb 25 2017

Mana Contemporary

Jersey City, NJ

It was in 1988 that the German Bundesnachrichtendienst was advised that PFLP-GC terrorist cells were operating in West Germany. By October 10th of that year, Herbslaub or Operation Autumn Leaves was initiated, and round-the-clock surveillance of suspected terrorists in six German cities was undertaken. One of the surveilled addresses was Isarstraße 16 in Neuss, where the bomb was built which was ultimately placed on Pan Am flight 103 and detonated at 31,000 feet as the aircraft was approaching Lockerbie, Scotland.

Employing the photogram technique, famously used by Man Ray in the 1920s, the images record various pieces of wreckage and debris from Pan Am 103 as well as the Toshiba Boombox the terrorists used to disguise the Semtex bomb, which killed 281. The photograms were made in 1991, at the former East German Stasi photography lab, to which publisher Julie Sylvester had full access, at the invitation of F. C. Gundlach. The backdrop of the project was the daily dismantling of the Berlin Wall. 16 Isarstrasse was printed on the last rolls Universal BN 111 photosensitive paper by Jones assisted by Sylvia Karger, Andreas Muhs, and Julie Sylvester. The frames have been rubbed with raw gunpowder. Twenty five years after the Lockerbie disaster, the chilling effect of 16 Isarstrasse resounds.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Works on Paper
  • American
  • 20th Century
  • Ronald Jones

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