Utopia! Who’s Listening Now
Anne O’Callaghan is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice incorporates a wide range of media,including text, photo-based works, artist books, video, sound installation, and sculpture. For over three decades, O’Callaghan has devoted her artistic practice to exploring politics, memory, and the ways in which artists can effect change.
Utopia! Who’s Listening Now is an exhibition comprised of a series of installations through which O’Callaghan responds to recent political events. Her work explores, subverts, and deconstructs the ways in which governments, police forces, institutions, and corporations have developed and employed methods of surveillance, communication, and propaganda.
Visitors entering the main gallery are introduced to The Watchers, a series of metal-headed mannequins in trench like coats. Their attire suggests authority and recalls the heavy greatcoats originally designed for European soldiers and military officers. Tall and brute, their dominating presence creates an uneasy tension with visitors who walk amongst them. A small image of an eye in the gallery is a blatant symbol of the eyes that watch, record, and scrutinize within The Watchers. It is accompanied by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality… Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”