We are pleased to announce that Yazan Khalili is participating in the FotoFest Biennial 2022, If I Had a Hammer, opening September 24 and running through November 6 in Houston.
Yazan Khalili’s image-based practice is rooted in exposing and unraveling relationships between complex social, economic, and political power structures and histories of image-capture and circulation in order to better understand our world. "Medusa" (2020) [pictured] builds off Khalili’s long-standing engagement with the history of facial recognition for both personal use, such as on mobile phones and for social media, and for mass surveillance purposes.The six-screen installation utilizes the mythology of Medusa, the figure of Grecian antiquity who was cursed with eyes that destroy all those who meet her gaze, to explore the ways facial recognition is used and often weaponized by corporate and militant forces. At the heart of the work is an exploration of the desire to be recognized as an autonomous being as well as the consequences of being recognized and identified, especially for those whose visibility determines their safety and sovereignty. Behind the broken glass screens, Khalili shows us examples of facial technology in use: footage of ancient artifacts are incorrectly identified by the artist’s smartphone camera as human faces; images of people among a sea of protestors are highlighted by camera interfaces based on the recognition of facial features; and 3D modeling tracks the artist’s face—a reference to artificial intelligence technology that reproduces faces to the point of accurately reproducing the most personal micro expressions.
The exhibition is co-curated by Steven Evans, Amy Sadao, and Max Fields and features twenty-three international artists, photographers, and activists whose work reveals the social and political impacts of image production and circulation.
FotoFest is a Houston-based arts organization dedicated to advancing photography and visual culture through the presentation of exhibitions, public programs, and publications.
August 4, 2022