Conspiracy Case is an installation and performance, which I first produced in July and August of 2012 at the Station House Gallery in Williams Lake, B.C. With this work, I transform a gallery space into a police-style headquarters (fitted out with steel desk, filing cabinets, bulletin boards, etc.), based from which I conduct a procedural investigation into presumed crimes and conspiracies on the part of the local burrowing rodents (in this case, ground squirrels and marmots). Accepting the rodents’ guilt as assumed, I surveil their activities using still and video cameras, compiling police dossiers on them, identifying criminal relationships and networks, and mapping their tunnel complexes in a speculative fashion (including presumed underground installations like meth labs, uranium enrichment facilities, etc.).
Installing/performing the piece in Williams Lake, I sought to implicate the local public, posting “Wanted” notices around the town and inviting informants to come forward (many did). By the end of the summer, my gallery headquarters resembled a T.V. police office much as one might see in programs like "Hill Street Blues," "Homicide: Life on the Street," or "The Wire."
To contextualize the work, I created a fictional law-enforcement agency called the INTERPOL International Task Force on Rodent Crimes (IITFRC). Indeed, my aim is to install/perform "Conspiracy Case" in new location after new location—wherever both burrowing mammals and art presentation venues can be found (i.e. throughout the planet’s temperate zones). Gradually I will link together the project’s individual iterations, building the IITFRC into an international satirical-artistic organization with hemispheric reach.
You can see the Conspiracy Case surveillance videos on my Vimeo site.
Performance/installation (photographs, looped videos, drawings, office furnishings, TV sets)
© 2012-2017 by Edwin Janzen. All rights reserved.