On Patrol

On Patrol

de Appel, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, Amsterdam
ON PATROL examines the many different systems that police our society, from traditional investigatory techniques to the invisible practices of gathering and classifying (personal) data that have become a form of social control. In the exhibition artists, reflecting on the public domain, show how their work relates to the panoptical surveillance society.

The artists invited for the exhibition ON PATROL explore with various aspects of (in)security: they play with the observations of other people, manipulate techniques of espionage, hack, break codes and appropriate methods of power. They reveal the fear of insecurity as well as the worries about an excess of security.

In Evidence Locker (2004, see: www.evidence.locker.net) Jill Magid deployed the local police force and the 242 security cameras stationed in the centre of Liverpool to allow herself to be observed. From the resulting video material she made a film in which we can follow her, and chronicled her stay in Liverpool in a diary. Nicoline van Harskamp’s new project shows how passers by react to gatherings of uniformed youths who look more like town guards than young ‘rebels’. Ergin Cavusoglu’s video installation Entanglement (2003) makes everything and everyone suspect, evoking an oppressive feeling of potentially threatening danger and turning man into a frightened animal through the sound of invisible, hovering helicopters and roving searchlights.

ON PATROL is a response on the ongoing debate about security measures and the new cultural offensive being waged by the government. Critical and artistic confrontations with policing and surveillance are deployed in order to make us ask ourselves: what is acceptable in the name of security? When is our individual freedom so much at stake that a boundary has to be transgressed and whose interests are served by capitalising on or fuelling fear?