Anonymity, no longer an option
8-17 May, 2015
Friday, 8 May. 6-9pm
Katarzyna KOZYRA (Postmasters) • Mark LOMBARDI (Pierogi) • Trevor PAGLEN (Metro Pictures) • Suzanne TREISTER (P•P•O•W) •
Mark TRIBE (Momenta Art) • Sam VAN AKEN (Ronald Feldman Fine Arts) • Addie WAGENKNECHT (bitforms gallery)
With special guest project:
The Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument 2.0, AKA The Snowden Statue, by Anonymous
Press: artinfo.com; New York Daily News; Mashable; NY Post; Hyperallergic; Artnews
SEVEN is proud to announce that The Snowden Statue now released from NYPD’s custody will be shown as a part of SEVEN at The Boiler exhibition Anonymity, no longer an option.
The artists are pleased The Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument 2.0, AKA The Snowden Statue is back in public view and hope it continues to inspire discussions about surveillance, patriotism, and what sacrifices must be made to maintain the freedoms that are the cornerstones of a free society.
We are pleased to announce SEVEN, a collaborative exhibition at The Boiler including seven galleries, each presenting work by one artist. The exhibition will run from May 8—17, 2015 with an opening reception May 8th, 6–9pm.
“Anonymity, no longer an option” is the title of the 2015 edition of SEVEN. With the prevailing ubiquity of surveillance, the notion of anonymity is becoming a distant dream. With the use of technology, people everywhere, including our own government, are able to obtain details on anyone anywhere. All are vulnerable to this intrusion: sometimes willingly divulging personal information, as with Facebook and other social media platforms, smart phones, and other location devices; and at other times unwittingly as with the NSA, where we unknowingly give up personal information and privacy, in premise for our personal and national security. Edward Snowden’s actions in divulging information about these programs revealed that we are more vulnerable than we had previously thought. In this exhibition, the notion of surveillance is examined in various ways by seven artists.
Launched in 2010 by seven galleries from New York and London, SEVEN is a unique initiative committed to presenting artworks on their own terms and providing an intimate, personal way to engage the viewer. An emphasis on cooperation rather than competition is a founding principle of SEVEN that puts the art viewing experience ahead of other considerations. Since its inception, SEVEN has evolved by inviting new galleries and guests in both independent and institutional locations. Participating galleries in this edition of SEVEN are bitforms gallery, Metro Pictures, Momenta Art, PIEROGI, Postmasters, P•P•O•W, and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.
Entry to SEVEN is free. The opening reception is Friday, May 8th from 6 – 9 pm.
Below is a preview of featured artists:
KATARZYNA KOZYRA (Postmasters)
Postmasters will present a series of newly released photographs from the Polish artist Katarzyna Kozyra’s important early video installation “Women’s Bathhouse” (1997). The project was shot at a public bathhouse in Budapest, the first in a series of works made using a hidden camera. Kozyra recorded the scenes at the bathhouse as women, relaxed and unaware of the camera, enjoy their private moments. “Women’s Bathhouse,” whose radicality reverberates so strongly in today’s surveillance climate, references classical works of art like Rembrandt’s “Suzanna and the Elders” and Ingres’s “The Turkish Bath.” Which artists were more invasive? The question remains.
MARK LOMBARDI (PIEROGI)
Mark Lombardi’s graph-like drawings on paper lay bare connections of power, politics, and money within corporations and banks, and between individuals and such entities. His first drawings in this “Narrative Structures” series date from 1994, in a pre-internet era before mass (digital and video) surveillance became ubiquitous. He gathered information the old-fashioned way, by reading syndicated news articles and books on the subjects involved, and worked to expose connections and relationships — otherwise hidden in a multitude of drab texts — through a visual medium making them immediately and viscerally discernable. His relationship to surveillance is to an earlier meaning of the term: “the act of carefully watching someone or something…” through thorough research of his subjects.
TREVOR PAGLEN (Metro Pictures)
In his photographic work, Paglen seeks to make visible the typically invisible apparatus of covert government activities at black sites and, most recently, surveillance systems. Physical objects, people, and technology exist that implement these activities but they are difficult to visualize since the public is rarely, if ever, allowed to see them. Paglen’s photographs are “…useless as evidence, for the most part, but at the same time they’re a way of organizing your attention.”
“Paglen [has] said that blurriness serves both an aesthetic and an ‘allegorical’ function. It makes his images more arresting while providing a metaphor for the difficulty of uncovering the truth in an era when so much government activity is covert.” (Weiner, Jonah. The New Yorker) These often indistinct images can appear simply as clouds or other atmospheric activity in the sky but are meant to suggest “a kind of abstraction that’s associated with photographing the sky going back at least to someone like Stieglitz. It’s about taking what might be a familiar image and reinscribing it with something else.” (Paglen) On view will be “Contrails (R-4804N Restricted Airspace, NV)” and “Untitled (Gorgon Stare Surveillance Blimp).”
SUZANNE TREISTER (P•P•O•W)
P.P.O.W is pleased to present Suzanne Treister’s “Post Surveillance Art” series of poster works that navigate the post-Snowden Age. Primarily a painter through the 1980s, Treister was a pioneer in the digital/new media/web based fields from the beginning of the 1990s, developing fictional worlds and international collaborative organizations. The term “Post Surveillance Art” was coined by Treister on January 9, 2014.
…what has changed for me personally, post Snowden, is not an awareness of our new condition, but the knowledge that now almost everybody else knows…something which was clear as day if you kept your eyes open, did a bit of research… it’s restful no longer being called a conspiracy theorist…I can make this new work feeling its context may now be accessible to a broader audience, even a mainstream artworld audience, those who took little notice of the early issues of the politics of the net, net art and all that parallel, mostly invisible and often misrepresented art and theoretical history of the 1990s, and are now seeing internet related art as if for the first time in the form of the new market driven and apolitical, ‘Post-Internet Art’ movement… Dear all, this work is for you, it can be your new pinup…’sharing’ does not have to mean giving all your personal data to government security agencies via social media for free…
MARK TRIBE (Momenta Art)
Mark Tribe’s “Colusa” is an aerial landscape photograph from his “Plein Air” series. First exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, these shaped UV prints depict an edenic virtual world in which the boundaries between reality and simulation — and between representation and abstraction — have begun to blur. Landscape photography is as much about projection as it is about representation. The camera captures images, but it also projects power: not only the power to see and to discover, but also the power to picture the land, to investigate the story of its past, and to imagine its future. First made from balloons in the mid-19th century, aerial photographs are the archetypal form of surveillance. We are now living in a golden age of aerial imaging in which the patient gaze of satellites and drones never ceases to watch over us. Tribe’s work interrogates and reframes the ways in which the seductive power of landscape images has been used to defend geopolitical interests and expand territories. “Colusa” is a new kind of photograph that pictures the world without a camera. It is a ‘data image’: a picture generated by software using topographical data. It represents a real place (a wetland in Colusa county, California called Sycamore Slough), but it is in fact a simulation. Surveillance is increasingly data-driven, and new kinds of images are emerging as the real and the virtual converge.
ADDIE WAGENKNECHT (bitforms gallery)
bitforms gallery will present two installations by Addie Wagenknecht, an American artist based in Austria who builds objects that contemplate power, beauty and networked consciousness. Playing with the contemporary anxieties of post-Snowden information culture, she investigates the cultural connection between technology and social interaction. “Kilohydra 2” is a wall-mounted sculpture that intercepts and logs anonymous data captured from surrounding wifi signals. Part of the series “Data and Dragons,” it features an assembly of custom printed circuit boards and Ethernet cabling. The work is dark and austere, manifesting “the cloud,” social networks, data, leaks, and that which forms social capital into a single object. Passively interactive, its behavior is driven by custom hardware and packet sniffers, which capture all the live data passing through the area. The information is then visualized via surface mounted LEDs, through a series of blinking patterns.
In “-r-xr-xr-x,” Wagenknecht applies gold leaf to a pair of closed-circuit television cameras. The readymade video system is disabled, however, which transforms the function of this object into a trophy, rather than a tool. It’s ostentatious adornment draws attention to this presence, symbolizing the structures of control, and the network of permissions that are allowed to specific users and groups — be they security guards, art world insiders, or simply persons opening a file. Wagenknecht’s ‘dummy cameras’ merely appear to be engaged and functioning, as indicated by the flashing of red lights that are battery-powered. “-r-xr-xr-x” evokes safety and voyeurism, as well as the authoritarian gaze of an exclusive viewer, as it transforms an ubiquitous icon of surveillance, the CCTV.
SAM VAN AKEN (Ronald Feldman Fine Arts)
“Myshkin’s Idiot Light” attempts to create auras, more specifically the hallucinatory perceptual disturbance known as scintillating scotoma that occur before a change in mental state. Described by Dostoevsky’s character Prince Myshkin in his book, The Idiot, they are the “dazzling light” that induces “sweet bliss” and “inconceivable joy.” Appearing here as blinking lights that flash at the same rate as the synapsis in the brain, they create afterimages and blind spots, the noise, the sweet bliss of forgetting that interrupts perception, observation, surveillance. (Please note: This work features flickering light effects that might trigger reactions in people with seizure disorders.)
For more information, please email us at email@example.com or call The Boiler / Pierogi at 718-599-2144.
For press inquiries, please contact Susan Swenson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Magdalena Sawon email@example.com.
Friday, May 8 (Opening Reception): 6–9 pm
Saturday — Sunday May 9 — 10: Noon – 6pm
Wednesday – Sunday May 13 – 17: Noon – 6pm
And by appointment
The Boiler 191 N. 14th St. Brooklyn, NY