Secret Wars Opening Reception
Proteus Gowanus (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
Secret Wars, the second exhibition in Proteus Gowanus’ yearlong exploration of Battle, explores the cryptic ways of warfare waged behind the cloak of invisibility. From neurophysical conflict deep inside the human amygdala, to the broadcast signals used by spies and intelligence agencies, to the everyday observation of ordinary citizens by omniscient bureaucracies, Secret Wars reveals covert communications hiding in plain sight.
Curated by Proteus Gowanus co-creative director Tammy Pittman and anthropologist Thomas Ross Miller, the exhibition brings artists from New York, Amsterdam and Berlin to trace the gaps, silences, and blackouts that conceal vital and deadly knowledge.
Who controls secret information, and who has the power to understand it? How do we protect ourselves from unseen enemies? Who wins and who loses when the battle is unending and unknowable? Through art, artifacts, books, sound and surveillance, these installations render what is absent present and what is invisible visible. Inside a special room, mysterious and hypnotic short-wave radio messages in unbreakable codes are beamed to hidden spies. Lost treasures, occult symbols and predator drones appear and disappear, closely guarded enigmas shrouded in obscure and half-forgotten codes.