Works from Hasan Elahi's self-surveillance project "Tracking Transience"

Stories That Matter: Shroud
By Hasan Elahi
5 Mar to 31 July 2020
Objectifs Courtyard
Admission is free 

Artist Talk: Tue 10 Mar, 7.30pm [Cancelled] 
The artist talk by Hasan Elahi, originally scheduled for 10 March has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. Elahi’s installation, ‘Shroud’ will still be up at Objectifs till 31 July 2020  at our courtyard (free admission). You can also listen to one of his earlier TED talks about the beginnings of this body of work hereOur sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused as a result of this cancellation. Thank you for your understanding!

After an erroneous tip called into law enforcement authorities in 2002 subjected Hasan Elahi to an intensive investigation by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, he underwent months of interrogation before finally being cleared of suspicion. After this harrowing experience, Elahi conceived Tracking Transience and opened just about every aspect of his life to the public.

Tracking Transience questions the consequences of living under constant surveillance. This site-specific installation comprises thousands of images from the project, which continuously generates databases of imagery that tracks the artist and his points of transit in real-time.

In displaying the images on hoarding erected along the side of the Chapel Gallery at Objectifs, Shroud further considers issues surrounding surveillance. Hoarding is a familiar sight in Singapore, given the high rate of urban renewal in the country. In Shroud, hoarding simultaneously conceals and reveals, by obscuring part of the building, while baring its base architectural features through the artwork. Similarly, the work invites its audience to consider notions of hiding in plain sight – Elahi’s extensive image tracking project industriously documents his meals, locations and activities, yet reveals surprisingly little about the artist himself.

Viewed in today’s image-driven, social media heavy context, Shroud also makes allusions to the commodification of images and big data. It examines issues of power in the collation and dissemination of information, and questions our ability to manage privacy through the images we generate and consume. 

About Hasan Elahi
Hasan Elahi is an artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Sundance Film Festival, the Gwangju Biennale, and the Venice Biennale. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by The New York Times. Forbes and Wired and has appeared on Al Jazeera, Fox News and The Colbert Report.

Elahi has spoken about his work to a broad range of audiences such as Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, TED, and the World Economic Forum. His recent awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship, grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and he is a recipient of a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is currently Professor and Director of the School of Art at George Mason University and lives and works outside of Washington, DC.

The Straits Times: Arts Picks (5 Mar 2020)

Stories That Matter: Who Cares – Programme
:: Stories That Matter Workshop: Saturdays, 7 to 28 Mar
:: Screenings: 4 to 7 Jun 2020
Postponed due to COVID-19; email us at to be informed of the new dates

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