Thomas Kneubühler: Trespass Act

North America is preoccupied with security, and embraces the idea of private property, unlike most European countries, where natural resources are accessible to everyone even when privately owned. TRESPASS ACT includes outdoor installations showing a series of security guards, raising the issue of surveillance in public space, and a gallery exhibition of industrial zones and office buildings deserted at night time. The viewer can peek through the windows and becomes a trespasser, watched by security cameras and guards.

7 August–5 September, in the Main Space, and around downtown Edmonton
Artist talk 7 August, 7:00 PM
Opening reception 7 August, 8:00 PM

Download the media release PDF

Trespass Act

Office

My projects frequently deal with places where access is restricted. In Zones I photographed in airports while I was traveling. In Office 2000 I climbed on rooftops in downtown Montreal and peeked through office windows.

While taking photographs I often encounter security guards. They are sometimes friendly, and sometimes not so friendly while telling me to leave. They claim that the site is private property.

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North America is preoccupied with security, and it embraces the idea of private property. Unlike most European countries, where natural resources are accessible to everybody even when privately owned, the concept of private property is a distinctive part of North America’s society.

There might be historical reasons for this outlook. Part of North America's history is based on land grabbing. Centuries ago, new territories were conquered and secured from "the wild". Fences were built with a clear message: this is mine. Where there is property, security is right around the corner.

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For my exhibition «Trespass Act» at Latitude 53, I am presenting works from the last couple of years. The outdoor installations show a series of security guards, raising the issue of surveillance in public space. In the gallery exhibtion, we see industrial zones and office buildings, places that are deserted at night time. The viewer can peak through the windows, yet becomes a trespasser himself while being watched by security cameras and guards.

Thomas Kneubühler

Press

Fish Griwkowsky, Under Watch: Artist's work looks at our current state of security/paranoia. The Edmonton Sun, Tuesday August 4th, 2009.

Marliss Weber, Watching the Watchmen. See Magazine, Thursday August 6th, 2009

Andrea Carson, Edmonton: Surveillance and Shopping as Art. View on Canadian Art, Thursday August 6th, 2009

Sarah Hamilton, Exploring security risks. The Edmonton Journal, Friday August 7th, 2009

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