Objects To Be Handed Over Or Destroyed
Press Release: Yvon Lambert is pleased to announce Objects to be Handed Over or Destroyed, Jill Magid’s first solo exhibition at Yvon Lambert New York. In Objects to be Handed Over or Destroyed Magid explores the nature of government secrecy and obligatory silence through her work with the Dutch secret service. This show will run concurrently at Yvon Lambert with an exhibition of new work by Ian Wallace. Both exhibitions open with a reception for the artists on Saturday, September 12, 2009 from 6-8 pm and will be on view until October 24, 2009. Magid will also have a solo exhibition, Authority to Remove, at Tate Modern from September 10, 2009 to January 3, 2010.
Under compulsion to commission an artwork for its new building, the Dutch secret service (AIVD) decided to use it as an opportunity to improve its public image. In 2005, Magid was selected by the AIVD to “provide the AIVD with a human face.” After gaining security clearance, Magid was given unprecedented access to interview agents within the organization.
Over the course of three years, these interviews took place as conversations in banal public places such as bars and cafes or even airports, and Magid recorded them in various notebooks along the way. By collecting the agents’ personal information, Magid hoped to discover the ‘face of power’ at the center of the organization. Magid fulfilled her commission for the Dutch secret service with the exhibit, “Article 12”, in 2008 in The Hague. Independently, Magid continued to explore the emotional, philosophical, and legal conflicts between ‘protective’ institutions and individual identity in an unpublished manuscript detailing her experience with the organization and its agents. In advance of the opening in The Hague, Magid gave the service a copy of her working manuscript to redact for source protection. The AIVD did not like what they read and confiscated a number of artworks after the show had already opened, including seven of the 18 Spies series. The organization then returned to Magid, via a representative from the Dutch Embassy in Washington, D.C., a heavily redacted version of the text she had voluntarily shared. The artist finished the manuscript regardless and titled it Becoming Tarden, her first novel. The book is presently on view at Tate Modern. It is displayed in accordance to the rules outlined by AIVD and it will remain at the museum until the secret service collects it.
Magid’s exhibition at Yvon Lambert New York will include new photographs featuring the artist’s handwritten notebooks (now property of the AIVD); The 7 Censored Spies: He speaks like he is choking..., a full set of one of the confiscated 18 Spies, wrapped and sealed permanently in a plexiglas box; new prints featuring the prologue and epilogue of Becoming Tarden; a live video feed from Tate Modern showing the Hacked Novel; and a performance in the gallery on Thursday, September 24 at 7pm. To read the Prologue, Epilogue, the redacted manuscript and the letter Magid received from the AIVD regarding her confiscated works, please go to: www.becomingtarden.net.