Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns, curated by Claire C. Carter, recently opened at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), occupying the museum’s four exhibition spaces with intense focus. Encompassing digital media works, large scale photography and interactive installations, the exhibition questions what we know and what we think we know.
SMoCA writes: “Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns is the first major survey of a generation of artists working in the violent and uncertain decade following the 9/11 terrorist attacks to collect and reveal previously unreported or under-reported information. This group of international artists includes Ahmed Basiony, Thomas Demand, Hasan Elahi, Harun Farocki, Jenny Holzer, Trevor Paglen and Taryn Simon. They use legal procedures as well as traditional research methods and resources such as the Freedom of Information Act, government archives, field research and insider connections. The thirty-seven artworks included in Covert Operations employ the tools of democracy to bear witness to attacks on liberty and to embrace democratic ideals, open government and civil rights.