Jonah King

Jonah King is an interdisciplinarity artist exploring human/nonhuman relations and speculative futures. Their multifaceted world-building projects examine how ecological intimacies influence individual and social identity.




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Jonah King

Leisure Sports: How The West Was Won

Film, 3x Channel HD Video; 17m 24s


How The West Was Won is an ultra-wide format film made with California residents Joseph Miller and Richard Milanesi, two self-proclaimed avid golfers and Donald Trump supporters. King invited Miller and Milanesi to play a game of golf across the expansive western Mojave desert, which King documented. 

How the West Was Won shares the title of the 1962 ultra-widescreen American western film, which opens with this narration: “This land has a name today and is marked on maps. But the names and the marks and the land all had to be won. Won from nature and from primitive man”. King’s film directly references the format of the original film, but in the place of gallant cowboys trailblazing western trails there are two older white men, in casual sports attire, playing an eternal round of golf in the middle of the Mojave Desert—a foreboding foreshadow of the consequences of climate change. Like two ghosts, the golfers seem to be forever destined to haunt the barren landscape, not with rattling chains, but with swinging golf clubs.

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Read: Is There Golf in Heaven? Sarah Aziz and Adam Farcus in discussion on Jonah King’s exhibition How the West was Won by  Sarah Aziz and Adam Farcus, Sixty Inches From Center