Art Galleries

"Friends, Family, Neighbors"

When: May 31-June 30 2013

As distressing as the National Security Administration's recentlyexposed dragnet system is, the proliferation of unmanned drones forsurveillance and military strike is a perhaps more chilling aspect ofwhat today counts for normal. In a small exhibition at Royal NonesuchGallery, David Gregory Wallace presents several works that reflect onprevailing drone narratives, each wedding a sense of childhoodinnocence (or vulnerability) to one of looming dread. In a windowpiece that clicks on nightly, a projector casts a series ofphotographic portraits of the artist's friends, colleagues, and lovedones upon the gallery window, while a rotating mobile positioned inbetween casts moving shadows of birds and one large predator drone upon theimages. The main piece in the show is a short film that follows ayoung boy as he guides a toy drone around the East Bay. The interspersed footage of actual drone strikes -- which the Department of Defense posts as propaganda material on its website -- is jarring, but it is the child's eerie contentedness that leaves the strongest impression.Friends, Family, Neighbors runs through June 30 at Royal NonesuchGallery (4231 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). 415-652-1623

Alex Bigman

Price: free

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