Altman Siegel Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Trevor Paglen. This will be Paglen's second exhibition with the gallery and will feature an entirely new body of work. The exhibition opens on February 10th and run through April 2nd, 2011.
For Unhuman, Paglen extends his earlier work on secrecy, distance, and epistemology to include questions about vision, geography, time, and a troubled history of photography. "I think of photography as the history and practice of 'seeing' with machines," Paglen explains. "With some of these newer works, I'm trying to understand what the implications of machine-seeing are for both how we perceive the world and actively intervene in it."
As in his previous bodies of work, Paglen focuses on the darker workings of the military and intelligence world. A series of large-scale skyscapes recalling the abstractions of Rothko, Turner, and Stieglitz are punctuated by the presence of military and CIA drones used for covert operations in Pakistan, Yemen, and other locales. A short landscape video, entitled Drone Vision, is crafted from the raw video feed of a drone over Eastern Europe. It's source material was surreptitiously downloaded from an unsecure communications satellite by one of Paglen's collaborators. "When we're talking about the history and practices of seeing with machines, we're really talking about weapons systems. By and large, those two histories are one and the same," says Paglen.
In other new works, Paglen extends his exploration of machine-seeing into an investigation of geography and time. Works such as Artifacts and Time Study, reinterpret tropes from 19th Century photographers Timothy O'Sullivan and Eadweard Muybridge to explore how relations between vision, geography, and time are being radically reconfigured by 21st century technologies and practices. As theorist Brian Holmes says in a recent essay about Paglen's work: "What these works ask the viewer to perceive is something different: not just individuals, installations or technical devices, but the larger order... the world into which they fit."
Trevor Paglen is currently the subject of a solo survey show at the Vienna Secession. He has had recent solo shows at the Berkeley Art Museum; Kunsthall Oslo; Kunsthalle Giessen; and Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne. His recent group exhibitions include Free, The New Museum, New York;Exposed, SFMOMA, San Francisco and the Tate Modern, London; FotoFest, Houston; the 2009 Istanbul Biennial; and Experimental Geography, ICI, New York. Trevor Paglen is a 2008 recipient of SFMOMA's SECA Art Award. Paglen's first photographic monograph, Invisible was recently published by Aperture, and is available at the gallery.
For more information, please contact the gallery at 415-576-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.