new-york

Jill Magid

Whitney Museum of American Art

In a 2007 work, Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, Jill Magid enacted a performative infiltration into a remote world by cultivating an ambiguous, clandestine relationship based on her fascination with a New York police officer: She persuaded him to train her as a cop, shadowing him on the night shift. Magid’s 2010 Reasonable Man in a Box—a project developed for the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Gallery on the Whitney Museum of American Art’s first floor—composed of a large-scale video projection featuring the shadow of a scorpion and a wall text with manipulated excerpts from the now infamous Bybee memo (aka the “torture memo”), likewise seeks to perform a critical operation on power, this time in relation to the Bush administration’s imperious version of presidential authority that facilitated the “war on terror.”

Magid uses the memo—designed to provide legal justification for the administration’s

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