New York

Julia Scher

Pat Hearn Gallery

During the ’80s, many artists expressed paranoia about the ways in which our actions, thoughts, desires, and ultimately fates are monitored, manipulated, and determined by forces beyond our individual control—notably the media, advertising, corporate interests, the government, and the military-industrial complex. One of the most cogent and inspired artistic embodiments of this fear has been Julia Scher’s knowledgeable manipulations of one manifestation of such forces, the security systems now used everywhere from convenience stores to high-tech laboratories to limited-access government institutions.

Scher typically installs functional security/surveillance systems in gallery spaces in a seemingly straightforward manner. But on the screens and monitors that present statistical information and live footage of the areas under surveillance, the artist also inserts menus with offerings such as

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