Oscar-winning Citizenfour filmmaker and Pultizer Prize-winning journalist Laura Poitras will debut her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in February.
Laura Poitras: Astro Noise is an immersive installation of new work which builds on topics important to Poitras, including mass surveillance, the war on terror, the U.S. drone program, Guantánamo Bay Prison, occupation, and torture. For the exhibition, Poitras is creating an interrelated series of installations in the Whitney’s eighth-floor Hurst Family Galleries. The exhibition expands on her project to document post–9/11 America, engaging visitors in formats outside her non-fiction filmmaking. Instead she will create immersive environments that incorporate documentary footage, architectural interventions, primary documents, and narrative structures to invite visitors to interact with the material in strikingly intimate and direct ways.
“I very much like the idea of creating a space that challenges the viewer and asks them to make decisions. My films are about these questions–what do people do when confronted wtith choices and risks. By asking people to lie down and gaze upward in Bed Down Location, for example, I want them to enter an empathetic space to imagine drone warfare. In another piece there is both the seduction of shafts of light to look into, but also the choreography of bodies in the space, bodies facing walls, and the things you associate with that, like firing squds. I’m interested in making things hard to see, just like the deep state is hard to see.”
Laura Poitras: Astro Noise will run from February 5th through May 1st, 2016.