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Camouflage Exhibition Exposes the Ancient, yet Modern, Art of Concealment from Military Might to Camo Chic

Camouflage: In Plain Sight is on view at the Anchorage Museum Oct. 28, 2016 through Feb. 5, 2017


Published:

"Hiding in New York No. 8 - Cereal," 2013

Liu Bolin, Klein Sun Gallery

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Camouflage: In Plain Sight expands beyond the familiar associations of camouflage to explore how we work to be seen and unseen. Through the lenses of natural history, military history, art, design, technology, fashion and popular culture, Camouflage highlights the contrast between the functional and cultural in this exhibition on view at the Anchorage Museum Oct. 28, 2016 through Feb. 5, 2017.

From the earliest recorded military accounts as far back as the Roman Empire, camouflage is described as concealment by design. Yet, it finds its true origin in nature’s design. Nature invented camouflage, from the masters of disguise in the insect world like the orchid mantis, to the stealthy predator lions of the savanna. And, its visual impact has transmuted from forests and jungles to streets and fashion runways, where the objective is to stand out, rather than blend in.

Camouflage: In Plain Sight also explores how contemporary society and new technology continually transform the way we hide in plain sight, even to create anti-camouflage: invisibility cloaks inspired by the dermal modification properties of snakes, fish and butterflies; algorithm-based data “masking"; counter-surveillance cosmetics and apparel that thwart thermal imaging and confuse facial recognition systems.

Included in the exhibition are historical objects, natural history specimens, items from popular culture, and major works of modern and contemporary art by artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Cindy Sherman.

Camouflage: In Plain Sight is made possible with support from Alaska Airlines, CIRI, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, KTUU-TV, Chevron, Atwood Foundation, Alaska Public Media, and Carr Foundation.

 

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