homeland security


each sequence is approx 1 min 30 seconds


homeland security 1 -2003

homeland security 2, 2003 -

homeland security 3, 2003 -

homeland security 4, 2003 -

homeland security 5, 2003 -



video still - homeland security

work behind is: embroidery made by Pashtuns near the Afghan border in Pakistan according my design taken from network news during the time of the bombing of Afghanistan.. see more works:

click to download hi res image

click to download hi res image

click to download hi res image



short description:

Rainer Ganahl
Homeland Security, I - V, 2003 dvd;

each video segment is less then 2 minutes long.

This video series represents a continuation of my language based video works entitled "Basic Feelings" and "Basic Conflicts" . The principle is always the same: a given sentence is uttered by me in all 11 of the languages I have been learning so far. In a situation comparable with that of a language lab, I repeat the same sentence in all these different languages touching on humor, absurdity and paranoia. With this new set of "homeland security" clips, filmed as police mug shots, I am making references to the newly created department of Homeland Security, that is most likely to bring us some kind of a quasi-totalitarian Big Brother police apparatus. Our homes will be subject to digital data mining and endless profiling - in a phrase: "homeless security," since it is becoming harder to feel our homes are actually home.
My 'homeland security" sequences start with Arabic, a language I have been learning only since 2001 and then ends with the more familiar ones. The sentences are simple and express a degree of paranoia: "I am not a terrorist" (1), "I am not a religious fanatic" (2), "I don't give money to terrorist networks" (3), "I don't know how to build bombs" (4) and "I am not downloading dangerous information from the Internet".
Rainer Ganahl


Each segment is individual but can also be shown together.







as installed at MUMOK, 2005 - museum of modern art, vienna



ps: this is a story a friend forwarded to me passed on to her from a liable resource... in response to my "I am not a terrorist"


Last night, on WBAI, I heard the story of this guy who had a horrendous run in with the FBI, after he was "apprehended" taking photos of a hotel where the beast Cheney was staying. The man is an architectural photographer, who has been taking pics for 20 years or so. He was putting his camera away when a policeman approached him and demanded his camera. He declined, and was thrown on the ground. At this point, he went limp, not wanting to get beaten up. He was taken to an interrogation cell where an FBI agent told him that the only reason anyone would be taking pictures is in order to develop a plan to assassinate the president. The guy says, "I am not an assassin; I'm a photographer." Then the FBI guy says he is a terrorist, in league with "the towel heads." "No, I'm not," says the guy. "I am not a terrorist." Then the FBI guy tells the man he is a traitor and that his father (who is a retired military guy) will be devastated. The man replies, "No I am not a traitor." And so it goes for 6 hours!! Finally, the man demanded his phone call, to which they acceded, until they heard him speaking to someone at the Denver News (in other words, he called a newspaper instead of a lawyer). They stopped him and threw him into a solitary cell. Hours later, the cops came by and released him without charge, but said that they were holding his camera "as evidence." Now they are denying they ever did anything (that is, even took him into custody)!!

october 2004