Under suspicion

slide projection of 33 frames / series of 33 c-prints, 20x30 cm each, marker
2015

Under Suspicion presents a series of photographic slides of everyday public scenes. Manually rendered pen markings highlight potentially suspicious objects or behaviours. The work manifests the impact of government initiatives instructing citizens on how to recognize suspicious targets, whilst simultaneously drawing attention to the resulting shift in the optics of public perception of reality. Previously non-descript articles become signifiers, as the intangible presence of the invisible enemy is imported into peaceful life. Although indicative of the current climate, the project was initiated in 2011 to articulate the paranoiac state response to the series of social protests in Ukraine. State surveillance and control mechanisms heightened in a bid to amass a vast archive, capable of being used for prosecution of those individuals implicated. Ridnyi interprets this hidden police archive as the quintessence of paranoid state control; its secrecy provoked the creation of his fictitious archive, where almost any individual documented in certain circumstances becomes the subject of suspicion, and patterns are defined where they previously did not exist.