Galerie Hubert Winter

Mary Ellen Carroll
18. June – 31. July 2004

Mary Ellen Carroll – FEDERAL
Worldpremier of the new movie FEDERAL (Watch the Watchers.™)
Screening last for 24 hours
Wednesday, 16th of June 2004 at 9 a.m.
Free entrance ( possible at any time )
TOP Kino , Rahlgasse 1, 1060 Vienna , AUSTRIA

Opening of the exhibition FEDERAL
Thursday, 17th of June 2004, 7p.m. – 9p.m.
Galerie Hubert Winter, Breite Gasse 17, 1070 Vienna, Austria
The show runs till to the 31st of July 2004
( Mary Ellen Carroll will be in Vienna for the screening and the opening)

Galerie Hubert Winter is pleased to announce Mary Ellen Carroll ’s fourth solo exhibition FEDERAL, a new series of photographs and the world premiere of the 24-hour movie of the same title. The movie will be screened at Top Kino in Vienna beginning at 9:00am on June 16th. The title for the project is derived from the name of the structure, The Federal Building, located at 11000 Wilshire in Los Angeles, designed in 1969 by the architect Charles Luckman. This building has been referred to in architectural guidebooks as the ‘embodiment of bureaucracy“. The series historically acknowledges both Andy Warhol ’s Empire and Toni Negri ’s popular book Empire; but it is not a film about the building as celebrated icon, nor is it an interpretation of an au courant political theory. FEDERAL (Watch the Watchers.™) is the articulation of an image of what is presently legally, socially and politically non-representable.

United States national security in the post-911 socio-political landscape focuses on surveillance and counter-surveillance, observing the need to protect these symbols of the Federal government ’s authority and the public ’s access to them. Over a period of several months Carroll accumulated a labyrinth of bureaucratic paperwork and media attention in order to gain permission to document the structure in this prolonged manner.The building houses divisions of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the State Department, the FBI, and the CIA; its documentation turns these high-level government agencies from the watchers to the watched.

Screening simultaneously in two theatres over 24 consecutive hours, FEDERAL (Watch the Watchers.™) evokes minimalism ’s reductive qualities, stripping away the affect of bureaucratic authority through the insistence of repetition, and exposing the process of its realization through the accompanying unedited ambient soundtrack.On one screen, the north facade is viewed from the LA National Cemetery and on the other, the south façade is viewed from the rear of the building ’s parking lot. At various points in the screening the viewer ’s perception of the building and its surroundings morphs into differing typologies, upending the conceptual trope that has been exhausted by the now overly-familiar legacy of the school of ‘German photography“. Given a chance to watch the movie from either of the two halves gives the appearance of a freedom of choice, yet in the end mirrors the same set of restrictions that go unnoticed in the public domain.

Mary Ellen Carroll was born in Danville, llinois, in 1961 and lives and works in New York City. The notion of representation and identification has always been at the core of Carroll ’s oeuvre and her dedication to a political and social critique that is consciously developed without a signature style. Her work is in numerous public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States. FEDERAL (Watch the Watchers.™) was created with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship that Carroll received in 2003 and with technical and material contributions by the Panasonic Corporation and Outpost Digital.She is spending this spring at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy, working on the project OFPC ’99 —a large-scale land art piece that will be physically realized in Houston, Texas.

In addition to a number of upcoming exhibitions and publications,she will have work in a forthcoming exhibition on architecture at MUMOK in Vienna, curated by Edelbert Köb.

FEDERAL (Watch the Watchers.™) is supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Panasonic Corporation, Outpost Digital, Michael Isabell, TOP Kino, Galerie Hubert Winter, LA National Cementery and the GSA.

  • Review: Die Presse, 01.07.04 (PDF)
  • Review:, 21.06.04 (PDF)