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Coco Fusco: LACE
September 14 – November 6, 2016
Image: Dolores from 10 to 10, 2002, still

Coco Fusco included in Dissent: what they fear is the light curated by Shoghig Halajian and Thomas Lawson at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).

Dissent: what they fear is the light is a group exhibition that explores the changing understanding of privacy in a world inundated with surveillance and oversharing. The political discourse of this century has been framed by the fear of “terror” and the subsequent need to police anything and everything that is deemed a threat. Under the promise of security, local and federal governments enhance surveillance techniques that seem capable of drilling into individual thoughts and desires.

The exhibition considers issues of visibility and invisibility within governmental and institutional administering, tracking, and policing practices. Topics explored include: the National Security Administration’s blind surveillance program and eradication of privacy, the increasing militarisation of the border, the prevalence of racialized police violence, and identity construction through self-surveillance technologies.

The relentless collection of personal data amounts to a system that aims to monitor and categorize all subjects, where foreign and unrecognizable identities are marked harmful and predatory. Notions of terrorism and otherness are employed to expand surveillance and policing, which disregard the need for warrants or for suspicion of criminal activity. Misleadingly promoted as a means to protect citizens from foreign dangers and to promote democracy, surveillance ultimately serves to oppress internal dissent and censor political insurrengency.

DISSENT takes LACE’s seminal 1987 exhibition, SURVEILLANCE, as its starting point. Curated by Brenda Miller and Deborah Irmas, SURVEILLANCE considered questions of privacy and access around uses of technology, and delved into artists who exposed and discussed the policies around technology that affect individual constitutional rights.

DISSENT features newly commissioned works by MPA and Jimena Sarno, and works by Laura Aguilar, Barbara Ess, Coco Fusco, Juliana Huxtable, Metahaven, Carlos Motta, Sondra Perry, and Christine Rebet.

The project includes an accompanying catalogue, designed by Still Room.