Jens Sundheim is een Duits fotograaf met een fascinatie voor bewakingscamera’s. Sedert 2001 gaat hij op zoek naar camera’s waarvan de beelden ook online te bekijken zijn. Vervolgens gaat hij ter plaatse en poseert hij voor de camera. Daarvan neemt zijn partner-in-crime Bernhard Reuss dan een screenshot. Het resultaat is ondertussen al te zien geweest in verschillende fotogaleries.
“Sundheim’s work naturally leads us to consider our surveillance-obsessed culture. Security camera footage is the go-to symbol for the Orwellian dystopia that massive collective apathy allowed to begin emerging years ago (although these days perhaps our Big Brother symbol is as likely to be Amazon’s deal with the CIA, or the NSA/Google partnership). By turning the security camera’s creepy, grainy feed into a kind of visual joke, Sundheim drains it of some of its power. The cheeky fellow with the camp bag could be interpreted as a “screw you” to those who think we should be monitored for our own protection.” (Erik Kessels)
“Seen as a group, these images become absurd and unsettling at the same time. The presence of the one figure very much aware of the presence of the camera puts the focus of the image on the way it was made – a camera in a public (or private) space recording a steady stream of images that might or might not be stored in some database, to be possibly used for all kinds of purposes later. At the same time, the single repeating figure itself is unsettling – it is as if there was someone who knows more than we do, someone staring back at us, making us viewers feel uncomfortable.
If that discomfort translated into us thinking a little bit more where we are currently moving, in this, to repeat the trite and dangerous phrase, “post 9/11 world” we might actually gain something: Do we really have to sacrifice all that privacy to try to achieve an unachievable sense of security?” (Jörg Colberg)
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