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New York’s Park Avenue Armory Art Show examines our culture of surveillance

Park Avenue Armory show

Park Avenue Armory show Hansel and Gretel

If you are looking for a summer exhibit that will both astound you and make you question just how many images are taken of you daily, maybe we suggest Hansel and Gretel. The art show currently on show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, might have a fun childlike name, but like most original fairytales it harbours a dark side.

The art event which runs until August 6th (so go check it out ASAP) explores the consumer relationship with digital images, surveillance culture and how many images are being taken of us daily.

Our Lifestyle and Interiors editor Taryn Tavella went to check it out, and here she recommends three reasons to see the exhibition:

1. It makes you question the politics of public space

Bringing together famed artist Ai Weiwei and swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, this exhibition is more than just a static idea. The Armory space has been transformed so that the landscape forms part of the show. Expect to see interactive projections of your face and body appear around the space (reflecting what you look like as seen through a drone). Visitors are also tracked by infrared cameras, and the name Hansel and Gretel is in reference to the digital breadcrumbs that we leave as we enter and leave different locations (eerie but also the increasing reality of our lives now).

2. Digital library 

At the end of the exhibition you are handed an iPad so you can see all the hidden cameras that were also in the exhibition with you, and you can track the digital library that has been created from the exhibition. You can also spot the drones and pay for a complete download of your digital imprint through the show. Better yet, on Friday evenings the installation stays open until 10:00pm, complete with a bar. And if you want more, you can head online to see the live stream of the exhibition.

3. The Giftshop

As a response to the growing surveillance culture, the gift shop here is packed with products that protect your identity. You can pick up special hats that shield your face from cameras and other surveillance ducking gifts. There’s even a copy of Hansel and Gretel the book in case you need a reminder of the dark tale.

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