MACON – Mercer University’s McEachern Art Center (the MAC) will present a gallery showing by noted artist Hasan Elahi, current director of the School of Art at George Mason University, called Inversion. The exhibition, consisting of wall-sized immersive photographs and photo collages from several of Elahi’s ongoing digital art projects, opens Oct. 22.
Elahi’s work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. Inversion will feature an all-new piece based around the geography in front of the gallery on Cotton Avenue. This location, currently the controversial site of a monument to a Confederate soldier, will soon undergo construction to become a pedestrian plaza.
His work has been presented in venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Sundance Film Festival, the Gwangju Biennale, and the Venice Biennale. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, and has appeared on Al Jazeera, Fox News, and The Colbert Report. Elahi has spoken about his work to a broad range of audiences such as Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, National Geographic, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, TED, and the World Economic Forum.
MAC Director Ben Dunn said of Elahi, “While many artists are deemed ‘ahead of their time,’ Hasan’s prescience is undeniable. His practice is a catalogue of the quotidian, and through this constant reporting of his admittedly mundane individual experiences, his works describe the almost universal surveillance and sousveillance germane to contemporary life.”
Elahi’s work began when he erroneously ended up on an FBI watch list in the political wake of the 9/11 attacks. In dialog with the FBI agent assigned to him, Elahi voluntarily recorded aspects of his daily life. “He provides a tangible form to the experience of watching ourselves and being watched all of the time. The works are massive in several ways: they are very, very big images, they contain incredible amounts of information, and Hasan has committed decades to some of them,” explained Dunn.
An artist talk will occur during the run of the exhibition on Dec. 10. The MAC is located at 332 2nd Street, Macon, GA. Admission is free and open to the public during gallery hours, 4-8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday. Media and educators may access the gallery outside of normal hours by appointment.