Pam Skelton: Dwelling in the Space of Conspiracy,

  • ©, Pam Skelton, Dwelling in the Space of Conspiracy,

Artist(s):


Title:


    Dwelling in the Space of Conspiracy,

Symposium:


Venue(s):


Medium:


    3 channel video installation, projected, dimensions variable

Artist Statement:


    Twenty years on from the fall of the Berlin wall British artist Pam Skelton investigates the Stasi network of ‘safe houses’ in Erfurt, a city in the former German Democratic Republic. A visual arts and social research project, Dwelling in the Space of Conspiracy uses a dossier from the archives of the Ministry of State Security (Stasi) to locate these once secret safe houses. The exhibition uses fieldwork, cartography and archives to construct a video installation that identifies 483 ‘conspiracy dwellings’ active between 1980–89. The city’s architecture, its buildings, streets and neighbourhoods unfold in a web of control and deception. In these discreet rooms the East German secret police would meet their informers to receive their reports. Informers were recruited to spy on friends, relatives or colleagues creating a state that relied on deception, fear and suspicion. Dwelling in the Space of Conspiracy raises questions around state control and surveillance that continue to be relevant today in a world adjusting to the threat of global terrorism. First shown in Germany in October 2007 as Conspiracy Dwellings // Konspirative Wohnungen this project created a furore of public debate leading to coverage in the German national press. Pam Skelton’s exhibition for ISEA2009 is in part a response to this debate and includes new material to acknowledge and further reveal the issues regarding victim, activist and perpetrator that still remain unresolved and painful for many today

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