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Julia Scher

Esther Schipper, Berlin

Julia Scher, Security by Julia II, 1989, Mixed media and guards, Dimensions variable, exhibition view: Artists Space, New York, 1989. Photo © Thomas Wrede

Julia Scher, Security by Julia II, 1989, Mixed media and guards, Dimensions variable, exhibition view: Artists Space, New York, 1989. Photo © Thomas Wrede

Guards, Hidden Camera

Emerging in the mid 1980s as a precise but playful analyst of social and technological changes, Julia Scher’s work presciently addresses surveillance both as a concrete phenomenon of control, including its apparatus and architecture, as well as its impact on private and public sphere.

Julia Scher’s performance will involve a pair of older women, dressed in the artist's signature pink hybrid security guard uniforms, roaming the fair and interacting with visitors. Juxtaposing the invisibility of older women in society and the visibility afforded to security personnel, while drawing on the colour pink's playful and a uniform's menacing connotations, Scher's work combines an analysis of control mechanisms with feminist critique.

The accompanying installation of conspicuously hidden vintage security cameras, further renders visible elements of surveillance at the fair, encouraging us to question the state of the world - where surveillance, deep data, and bio code harvesting can perpetuate bias encoded in technology, aided by the power of artificial intelligence.

Julia Scher was born in 1954 in Hollywood, USA. Scher’s early performance and video installations drew attention to the effects of increasingly ubiquitous surveillance. Recent institutional exhibitions include: CCS Bard, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, (2018); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2018); Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2017); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017); Kunstmuseum Bonn, (2017); SFMOMA, San Francisco (2016). Since 2006, Scher has been Professor at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. The artist lives and works in Cologne.

About Live at Frieze London 2018
Live is a platform for interactive installations and performances, presented by galleries.

Curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt (Samdani Art Foundation/Dhaka Art Summit), this year’s programme is entitled “Control ~” (“Control Tilde”) – a command on a computer keyboard that unlocks all formulas in a spreadsheet and thus makes them visible. Visitors will encounter works by international artists, drawing attention to unexpected connections and hidden formulas which impact wider social, political and economic realities.