OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 6 – 9PM
WITH AN ARTIST TALK BY SHERI LYNN BEHR & LAUREN GRABELLE AT 7PM
Americans have long been divided in their attitudes concerning the trade-off between national security and personal privacy. Much of the debate has been focused on government surveillance, and how the continuous observation of people’s day-to-day lives is being used to collect data. Following the 9/11 attacks, surveillance escalated in the United States, both with the Patriot Act and a 2002 presidential order providing the NSA and other government agencies the means to collect data on American citizens in an effort to prevent terrorism. As technology has continued to evolve, so has the debate over privacy and protection, provoking a wider national conversation about how information is shared, and the rights of the individual. It is no surprise that photography is often at the forefront of this conversation, as it has always been a primary tool used to collect and document our everyday lives.
Keeping Watch highlights the work of three photographers, who approach surveillance from different perspectives. In her project NoMatterWhere, Sheri Lynn Behr points the lens back at the security cameras looking at us to reveal the ubiquitous and pervasive nature of American surveillance systems and how it feels to be watched. Conversely, Photographer X, a series by Lauren Grabelle grapples with issues of voyeurism, as she documents casino life from the perspective of CCTV security cameras. Lastly, Hasan Elahi’s installation Alert V2, examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, and transport. Photography throughout history has been used as a tool to both documentation and surveillance. This exhibition begins to question the varying ways in which our information is collected and shared.