These artists probe subjects that range from classified military sites and reconnaissance satellites to border surveillance; from terrorist profiling to narcotics and human trafficking; from illegal extradition flights to nuclear weapons. Jenny Holzer examines the complicity and the individual actions behind human rights violations. Harun Farocki and Taryn Simon pry into the hidden institutional structures and economy of the United States’s intelligence community, or the “black world.” David Taylor photographs the US/Mexico border to raise complex issues of immigration, border security, human and drug smuggling, and environmental impact. Trevor Paglen reveals covert worlds: CIA agents’ passports, patches worn by US military personnel who conduct “black” ops, and military satellites and drones stationed high above the earth. Hasan Elahi responds to his wrongful placement on the terrorist watch list by voluntarily documenting his every movement. The exhibition also includes works by Ahmed Basiony, Thomas Demand, Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, David Gurman, Anne-Marie Schleiner and Luis Hernandez Galvan, and Kerry Tribe.
Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns was organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
|This exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. The Exhibition Award program was founded in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine. It rewards innovation and experimentation among curators by supporting thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art. Additional support for the exhibition catalogue was provided by Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation.|
|The presentation of Covert Operations at the San Jose Museum of Art and the related community programs are sponsored by Donna Dubinsky and Leonard Shustek, the Frank-Ratchye Family Foundation in honor of Jenny Holzer, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Melanie and Peter Cross, and McManis Faulkner. Mobile technology for visitor engagement and feedback has been made possible by in-kind support from the app CrowdPoll.|