Continuing his exploration of the growing obsession with notions of private property in North America, Thomas Kneubühler’s Access Denied (2007) presents a series of portraits of security guards. Shot in the workplace, the portraits of uniformed men cast an anonymous gaze on closely watched and controlled areas usually off-limits to the public. Presented on the exterior of buildings, in an urban context, the images occupy restricted zones between the private and the public.
Locations of the works :
Esso Gas Station, 700 Avenue Atwater
Parisian Laundry, 3550 St-Antoine West
Savanna, 4032 Notre-Dame West
Le Black Jack Resto-Bar, 3814 Notre-Dame West La Maison des Jeunes, 3643 Notre-Dame West
Born in Solothurn, Swiss, in 1963
Lives and works in Montréal, Canada
Thomas Kneubühler’s recent photographic series,which reflect what happens beyond the frame of the picture, question the relationship between technology and society. In Absence (2001), the artist explores how the virtual is manifested in the eyes of young people absorbed in a computer screen without images. In Zones (2002), he reveals the artificial and antiseptic nature of airports, territories under heightened surveillance, in unadorned photographs of deserted corridors, ceilings and wrapped meal trays that evoke the world of prisons. Office 2000 (2004) presents large-format images of the standardized, bland facades of office buildings in Montreal.Taken at night, the photographs show deserted interiors through a multitude of windows that allow us visual access, in the process highlighting numerous narrative possibilities. With Private Property (2006), Kneubühler lifts the veil on anonymous tightly controlled and monitored industrial sites in the city, access to which is forbidden to the public. His nocturnal images show barriers, screens, and surveillance cameras on private property where human presence is reduced to security guards.This series explores the borders between public and private, the accessible and the forbidden, as well as the restrictions imposed on individual freedom by institutionalauthority. At the same time it exposes the growing anxieties felt in North American society concerning the security of private property.
PUBLIC SPACE INTERVENTION
[SEPT. 06, 2007 – OCT. 21, 2007]
LAUNCH THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 06, 2007 AT 7:30 PM