(GUARD)IAN, 2004

(GUARD)IAN is a performance created by the South Asian Visual Arts Collective. It explores the issue of surveillance as protection in our everyday lives. As the Chief Guard, I led a team who impersonated security guards at the opening gala of the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International in 2004. Each guard took on a unique persona, such as the Sleeping Guard, the Model Guard, the Guard on the Make and so on. Our interaction with the public was minimal. Our presence, with regulation uniforms and soft sculpture weapons, was insidious. The performance questioned how much security is necessary to make us feel safe. The question is complicated as most alleged terrorists and low-level security positions share a similar racial profile as our team. Are the guards in fact terrorists or guardians of the public? Can the public distinguish between identity and racial profiling?

(GUARD)IAN featured Farheen HaQ, Cyrus Irani, Rachel Kalpana James, Mona Kamal, Riaz Mehmood, Amin Rehman, and Rashmi Varma.

(GUARD)IAN info sheet

Photo Credit: Cyrus Irani, Cameron Bailey, 2004