Security by Julia XLVI

Julia Scher
September 20 – November 9, 2002

Exhibition view:

Security By Julia XLVI
, 2002

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 2 laptops, 3 cameras, audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Exhibition view:

Security By Julia XLVI
, 2002

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 2 laptops, 3 cameras, audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Security By Julia XLVI, 2002 (detail) 

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 2 laptops, 3 cameras, audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Security By Julia XLVI, 2002 (detail) 

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 2 laptops, 3 cameras, audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Security By Julia XLVI, 2002

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 2 laptops, 3 cameras, audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Security By Julia XLVI, 2002 (detail)

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 2 laptops, 3 cameras, audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Security By Julia XLVI, 2002 (detail) 

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 2 laptops, 3 cameras, audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Security By Julia XLVI, 2002

Fence, aluminum piles, clamps, 1400 watt street light (sodium bulb), 1 laptop, 3 cameras
audio Recording, audio CD, amplifier, assorted wires, rubber blankets

Dimensions variable 

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Original exhibition invitation

Security by Julia XLVI

Julia Scher
Schipper & Krome, Berlin
September 20 – November 9, 2002
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US-American media artist Julia Scher's present installation consists of a chain-link-fence construction supplied with street lamps, loudspeakers, "security blankets" and different devices of surveillance equipment.

 

In this installation Scher combines objects relating an infantile need for protection and security to an aesthetic of exclusion. The ambivalence of a demand for protection and its turning into control is traumatically made clear. The three imposing fence elements evoke a sense of security when seen as tools for protection, but at the same time they turn the exhibition space into a claustrophobic prison. They are equipped with several symbolic objects, like baby blankets, rubber mats, surveillance equipment and loudspeakers for the sound part of the installation: The omnipresent figure of an "unseen commander," manifest in the luring, confidence-inspiring voice of Julia Scher, keeps the scenario constantly oscillating between reassurance and uneasiness.

 

Ambivalence again characterises the role of the beholder: Here at the gallery the visitor, supposedly unobserved, is the observer of an idyllic village in Sachsen-Anhalt or the lively Hackescher Markt in Berlin-Mitte, when watching the live images transmitted by cameras onto laptop monitors tied to the fences - while by means of a third camera placed in the gallery space he becomes himself an object of surveillance.

 

Ever since the end of the 80's Julia Scher has been exploring the invasion of personal freedom within the public realm, but certainly since September 11, issues like surveillance and data acquisition have gained a strong relevance to the present with respect to the definition of identity and freedom of the individual. Installations like the one here presented manifest the complex frame of reference relating the area of social-technical control to that of individual self-reflection.

 

Scher is a professor for Conceptual Space at the Architectural Department of the MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Together with her students she founded the IEL Interform Editing Laboratory, a research project exploring the semantics of security. 

 

We are indebted to the British Council, Berlin, and the Werkleitz Gesellschaft e.V., Törnitz, for their co-operation. Without their help the transmission of live images of the Hackescher Markt in Berlin and the rural location in the vicinity of Magdeburg would not have been possible. 

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