The Inspection House

New work by Martha McCollough and Matthew Keller

A panopticon is a circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners can at all times be observed. It is an apt metaphor for how we live today. We are photographed everywhere, recorded everywhere, and social media exposes the minute details of our lives and thoughts. Not only our own private lives, but also the machinations of the powerful become more transparent as information moves freely across borders and up and down hierarchies. What then? In their two-person exhibition, Martha McCollough and Matthew Keller take the panopticon as a starting point and explore how it affects our lives. With brilliant black humor, Martha McCollough’s videos and acrylic paintings explore our responses, which can run the gamut from exhibitionist euphoria to constant anxiety to outright paranoia. The constant question is how do we present ourselves, how do we choose to mask or unmask? The answer is dependent on whether we perceive surveillance as the harmless and even comforting interest of our friends as offered through social media, or as a tool of social control in the hands of repressive powers. McCollough is a two-time fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her text-based videos have recently been exhibited as part of the MIX Conference at Bath Spa University, UK, at the Void Network Film Poetry Festival in Greece, in Gone Lawn, an online magazine of experimental fiction, and in Rattapallax online magazine.

Matthew Keller’s oil paintings explore thoughts of observation and the acts of the observed. The focus is on individual perceptions relating directly to voyeurism, the changes in the activities of the watched, and the refusal to acknowledge the possibility of consequence by unknown onlookers. The goal is to not only comment on but also to preserve these feelings of alienation, inadequacy and powerlessness.

October 4 – 27, 2012
Opening Reception:
Thursday, October 4, 6–9pm, Catering by Bitter Science
Third Thursday Gathering:
October 18, 6–9pm