SEVERE CLEAR part 2:  The Shadow of a Doubt,  2014

Severe Clear was a two-part public performance that took place in the skies over New York. The project borrows its title from an aviation term for unrestricted visibility, used by pilots to denote ideal flying — and bombing — conditions.

For this second performance on Veterans Day, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, a small plane began circling the Statue of Liberty’s torch towing a banner that read THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT. The phrase refers to a legal burden of proof. In American courts, juries are asked to convict or acquit on the basis of reasonable doubt, since proving a defendant’s guilt beyond the shadow of a doubt is all but impossible. As such, it represents an unattainable ideal that contrasts sharply with the circumstantial evidence often used to authorise drone strikes. It also describes the chronic state of fear that populations living under aerial surveillance endure.

Liberty Enlightening the World, the official title of the colossus of Lady Liberty, stands on a former military fortification in the middle of New York Harbor — her raised torch symbolising freedom and transparency under the law.


 

Aerial performance over New York Harbor, Veterans Day, 2014



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