Berlin-based filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl is interested in the proliferation and circulation of images in our globalized world. She often works with the format of the video essay, combining a heterogeneous range of material, including interviews, found footage, fictional dramatizations, pop-music sound tracks, and first-person voiceovers. With her recent piece Guards (2012), Steyerl explores the intersection of national security and the security of cultural treasures. Commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago, Guards features interviews with museum security staff who have military and law enforcement backgrounds, including one of MCASD’s own security services representatives, Ron Hicks. The video follows the officers as they move through the Art Institute’s galleries, recounting harrowing stories from their law enforcement days. In one scene, Hicks reenacts a stakeout recalled from his previous career as a Federal Police Officer serving as part of a Special Reaction Team. He was invited to participate in the project after former Art Institute of Chicago curator Lisa Dorin visited the exhibition Phenomenal at MCASD in 2011 and the two struck up a conversation.
Hito Steyerl: Guards is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, with special thanks to The Art Institute of Chicago. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
Please note: The galleries at 1001 Ketnner Blvd. are temporarily closed.