EXHIBITION: SURVEILLING SURVEILLANCE

EXHIBITION: SURVEILLING SURVEILLANCE

Location: Salon Galić Gallery (Marmontova 3, 21000 Split)

 
Duration: Thursday, November 19 - Saturday, December 5
 
Toni Meštrović / SURVEILLING SURVEILLANCE
        
In the contemporary world, enveloped in a network of new information and communication technologies, the awareness of the gathering, storage, and availability of the most diverse types of information is becoming an increasingly represented topic, both in public discourse as well as in art. We are becoming ever more conscious that information regarding our whereabouts, the satisfaction of our basic needs via the services and goods we consume, and the people we communicate with, go beyond the personal domain and extend into the public space. As a result, we almost entirely lose control of the distribution of such information. Structures which, through manipulation, can affect the economic, social, and political aspects of each of our lives now seize control based on the data they’ve gathered. Yet, what happens in this process to the very information and technology through which it gets transferred? Who or what controls the means by which information is gathered and stored? Are we constantly under the surveillance of powerful individuals/groups or is control surrendered to technology under the premise that the settings in its initial design are completely stable? What is truly happening to information as it gets filtered through a medium which has its own logic and laws?
 
It is precisely these issues that concern Toni Meštrović in his most recent installation entitled Surveilling Surveillance with which he resumes a kind of experiment begun in the project Hack the System which was presented in the Museum of Fine Arts in Split in 2018. On that occasion, the artist set up an interactive closed-circuit audio and video installation in the entire exhibition space. As its medium, it used the museum’s video surveillance system. Although this system is essentially benign and does not invade the individual’s privacy, Meštrović used it to provoke the museum-goer by means of an experiential component. In doing so, the visitor could rise above the level of abstract information and, through this immersive installation, perceive the problem of surveillance in its entirety on an experiential level. This time, in Surveilling Surveillance, the artist disregards the visitor and focuses on the technology itself, or rather on what’s going on with it, independently of the potential visitors in the exhibition space. 
 
Curator: Jasminka Babić
 
 
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