30 Aug Keeping Watch
(Pictured above: Hasan Elahi, Alert v2, 2017, detail)
Sheri Lynn Behr • Hasan Elahi • Lauren Grabelle
August 4 – September 16, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 6 – 9pm
with an Artist Talk by Sheri Lynn Behr & Lauren Grabelle at 7pm
Location: Colorado Photographic Arts Center (1070 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204)
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 for both documentation and surveillance. This exhibition begins to question the varying ways in which our information is collected and shared.
ABOUT Sheri Lynn Behr | sherilynnbehr.com
Born in the Bronx, Sheri Lynn Behr studied photography and digital imaging in New York City and began her career photographing musicians and celebrities in the 1970s. Photographs from her rock and roll series were featured in Rolling Stone, CREEM and most music publications of the time, and are now collected, exhibited, and still published in books and magazines. After several years working in the music business, Sheri decided to concentrate on personal work. Her photography projects have explored Polaroid manipulations, New York City’s Chinatown, and the iconic Lucky Cat. Recent work investigates photography without permission and our surveillance society. Sheri’s photographs have been widely exhibited, and appear in American, international and on-line publications, including Slate: Behold blog, People’s Photography (China), and most recently The Boston Globe. In 2012, she received a Fellowship in Photography from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
ABOUT Hasan Elahi | elahi.umd.edu
Hasan Elahi is an artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sundance Film Festival, and at the Venice Biennale. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, and has appeared on Al Jazeera, Fox News, and The Colbert Report. Elahi has spoken about his work to a broad range of audiences such as Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, TED, and the World Economic Forum. His recent awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship, grants from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Art Matters Foundation, and Creative Capital . In 2009, he was Resident Faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is currently Associate Professor of Art at University of Maryland, where from 2011 to 2014 was Director of Design | Cultures + Creativity in the Honors College.
ABOUT Lauren Grabelle | laurengrabelle.com
Lauren Grabelle currently lives and works in Montana. She received her Bachelor of Arts from New York University College of Arts & Science and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her exhibitions include the Arthill Gallery in London, Pacific NW Viewing Drawers at Blue Sky Gallery, PhotoPlace Gallery, The Kiernan Gallery, Newspace Center for Photography, powerHouse Arena, Yellowstone Art Museum, Woodbury Art Museum, and the Montana Triennial at the Missoula Art Museum, among others. She has upcoming exhibitions in Lodz, Poland, Budapest, Hungary, and Trieste, Italy. Lauren’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Harper’s, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.