Occulted is a meditation on the increasingly sophisticated surveillance systems that blanket public space in London, training watchful eyes and ears on a population that, seemingly, complies passively.
The viewer of Occulted is immersed in the sights and sounds of the streets of London, filmed only six months after the traumatic subway and bus bombings of 2005. The observation of the individual is close and intimate, at times uncomfortably so, with periodic reminders that cameras are everywhere, scanning the surroundings. A populace that willingly submits to surveillance is observed, revealed, and exposed in ways that leave us to ponder the effects of suspicion on our interior lives.
Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.
Six short experimental documentary films, made over 10 years, explore the boundaries and margins of the political. The first half of the program features overtly political films that are constructs of documentary material, while the second half features films that are more abstract, marrying visual material to rich soundscapes. All of the films meditate, through image and sound, on the insularity, suspicion, and isolation that are embedded in the global psyche of the 21st century.
William Noland introduces his work. Total running time: 98 min.
Camp Diaries (2008) 14:30
Propagandizing documentary films made by government agencies about Japanese internment are juxtaposed with and examined alongside Dorothea Lange's little-known still images on the subject.
Memory Leak (2009) 20:00
The epic 2003 confrontation between then-Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan sets the stage for the visual cause-and-effect to follow.
Shooting an Elephant (2012) 15:00
An intimate and visceral examination of the ominous presence of the Tea Party in America’s political discourse at a time of severe economic distress.
Unspooling Time (2010) 24:00
Immersive, dreamlike street views of Paris, Tokyo, Washington, and Chicago around the time of Obama’s election in 2008.
Galvanized (2012) 5:00
Following a 40-day fast in penitence for the moral and spiritual decline in America, a coalition of Christians representing a variety of evangelical churches assembles in Charlotte, N.C.
American Landscape (2002) 19:00
Shot in and around New York City just before and after September 11, 2001, the film employs movement, sound, color, texture, and rhythm to meditate on post–9/11 American life.