USC Roski School of Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CA
November 19, 2012 - December 9, 2012
Curator: Donnie Cervantes
First-person accounts of war, sexual abuse, torture, and similar events which compromise one's sense of self and security inform the bulk of body of knowledge about the effects of violence on the human psyche.
Yet individuals without posttraumatic stress are also prone, for a variety of reasons, to stare into space for periods of time, temporarily powering down the senses, briefly severing the relationship between the eyes and brain.
In contrast to physical assault or bearing witness to atrocities, the temporal and spatial characteristics of structural or institutional violence are quiet, streamlined, and designed to be unnoticable. The absence of immediate impact on the human psyche is perhaps its greatest difference. Misleading language, socially disengaged information design, and lengthy bureaucratic processes contribute to social malaise and disenfranchisement that often eludes an individual consciousness in the present.
The waiting room or lobby area is a kind of spatial preface to an event whose outcome is never fully predictable, and as such is a monument to the unattentive gaze, the production of visual material for short term diversion, and the art of time compression. The works in Peacetime Arrest explore the liminal content of the focal plane, the real or imagined distances between a point-of-view and the target of its focused or unfocused gaze, and the possibility of influence from points beyond this established distance.