Security theather exhibition at MCA Denver (museum)

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    At MCA Denver ...


    Type A

    Type A:Guarded
    March 30–June 24, 2012

    Exploring ideas of threat and security in American society, artists Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin, known collectively as Type A, have conceived a new installation for MCA Denver entitled Guarded. The installation features an armed security guard stationed in the gallery monitoring nearly 30 objects deemed potentially dangerous by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). To highlight the theatrical nature of security procedures, the prohibited objects will only be visible to museum visitors on a series of closed-circuit security monitors.

    While already a topic of much frustration and suspicion, the TSA’s “Prohibited Items” list and its screening process have become a microcosm for the actions that contemporary Americans have either willingly or begrudgingly submitted themselves to in order to remain safe from terrorist acts. Guarded probes the public’s view of these security measures, from outrage to ambivalence to helplessness, by bringing the prohibited items into a museum for the sole purpose of having them guarded. The installation provocatively asks visitors to explore their own feelings about fear and safety in America.

    The artist team, Type A, has repeatedly focused its attention on the boundaries that distinguish social and private spaces. This installation builds on the artists’ previous works, such as Barrier, 2009, in which the artists placed reinforced concrete traffic barricades, the kind commonly used to secure urban sites from terrorist attacks, in the galleries of the Tang Teaching Museum. Guarded similarly calls attention to the borders and boundaries that are ubiquitous in our post-9/11 world.

    The exhibition at MCA Denver is sponsored in part by MCA Denver’s Director’s Vision Society members and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The museum would like to further thank the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Wonder if this exhibit will be traveling?
  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Yes, this has been on my list to write up at TSA News when it got closer to the opening date. I'm glad they're doing it. Wonder how many people going through the exhibit will get it.
  4. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    The exhibit could co-brand bottled water for sale in the gift shop. :eek::p
    Fisher1949 and Lisa Simeone like this.
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    :td: from Jaunted ...

    Jaunted: Denver Museum Now Focusing on the TSA as Modern Art. Yes, Really.

  6. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    It could be a very good exhibit - and if done well can really pack a punch and get people to think about what 'security theater' really means. Maybe the installation will help them get past the 'anything for security' mindset.

    Years ago, almost ten years ago actually, I took part in a 'cultural inquiry' on surveillance held at the Hugo House in Seattle. Creepiest thing I ever consented to. But it turned out to be great. Not only were there art installations and surveillance cameras and microphones everywhere, but there were authors reading passages from their novels or short stories on surveillance, and panels (I was on a panel discussing grocery store loyalty cards). You were immersed in being watched and recorded. Really, the word creepy didn't do the experience justice. But it really got everyone's attention. It's one thing to talk about a subject, it's quite another to experience it on a visceral level, and that's what happened at Hugo House.

    If the Denver exhibit can get at that visceral 'ick' level, more people might see the 'theater' aspect of 'security theater' for the first time.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  7. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Did the artist buy the scissors or did TSA just steal enough of them for the project?
  8. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I think the artist would've had to buy them from a "surplus store," no? Because once the TSA confiscates them, they're not giving them back. I can't imagine them donating the scissors to an artist out of the goodness of their hearts.
  9. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    The one article I read said he got them from a "friend" who works for TSA.
    Not that anyone from TSA has friends, so I assume he meant co-conspirator.

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