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Someone is Watching Us


UCR/CMP Exhibit Explores Surveillance in Society

Exhibit begins Saturday, May 6 with an artist talk and reception

(April 20, 2006)

Nicoline van Harskamp, " height="466" width="200" />Enlarge

Nicoline van Harskamp, "Supervision," 2004, Digital Print, Courtesy of the artist

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Someone is watching us in “Supervision,” the next exhibit opening Saturday, May 6 at the UCR/California Museum of Photography, 3824 Main Street, Riverside.

Dutch artist Nicoline Van Harskamp and American artist Jill Magid use film, video and photography to explore the theme of surveillance in society. The artists will preview their work at a gallery talk at 5 p.m. on opening day, followed by a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit will continue through July 15.

“They examine in uniquely different ways the expanding phenomenon of surveillance and increased supervision of public and private space,” said Ciara Ennis, who curated the exhibit. “Using uniforms and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras as their tools, the artists offer innovative and alternative perspectives on the tactics and psychology of observation.”

Recent projects from van Harskamp have involved the extensive research and documentation of both public and private security guards and police forces in Amsterdam, Glasgow, The Hague, Istanbul, London, and Rotterdam. For UCR/California Museum of Photography, van Harskamp will research, document, and photograph individuals from public and private security forces in the Greater Los Angeles area, from vigilante ‘Minute Men’ controlling the US border to undercover shopping mall detectives. This will be combined with her recent project, "To Live Outside The Law You Must Be Honest" —a portrait of the Danish anarchist Freetown ‘Christiana’ established in the 1960s, as well as her studies of undercover ‘Street Observers’ in Berlin.

Magid will present "Evidence Locker," 2004, her epic collaboration with members of the Liverpool Police department in the United Kingdom and all 242 CCTV cameras that watch the city. Footage from those cameras makes up four distinct films— "Control Room," "Incident Retrieval," "Trust," and "Final Tour" —that together trace Magid’s shifting dynamic with the police and the city. A reading room comprises the fifth element of the work, a foreboding space of black filing cabinets, stools, and overhead lamps, where visitors can read Magid’s intimate diary of her 31 days in Liverpool. This will be the first presentation of "Evidence Locker" in the United States.

The exhibit is supported by The Mondriaan Foundation and the Consulate General of the Netherlands, Los Angeles and New York.
Jill Magid, " height="337" width="400" />Enlarge

Jill Magid, "Evidence Locker: Final Tour, 2004," DVD-edited police CCTV footage, 2:56 minutes, Courtesy of the artist.

Nicoline van Harskamp, " height="160" width="400" />Enlarge

Nicoline van Harskamp, "To Live Outside the Law You Must Be Honest," 2006, stills from 2 channel video installation, courtesy of the artist.

Jill Magid, Enlarge

Jill Magid, "Evidence Locker: Control Room," 2004, 2-channel DVD-edited police CCTV footage, 10 minute loop, Courtesy of the artist.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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