New Masters

Edwin Janzen’s installation New Masters features vinyl cuts-outs applied to staircases of pixelated alien faces of characters from the popular 1980s video game Space Invaders. In the game, these aliens were meant to represent the threat of nuclear attack, a lived and real concern during this time of Cold War tensions. In this piece, Janzen creates a parallel between these historical fears of nuclear war and contemporary fears of terrorism. The representations of menacing aliens are a reminder of what Janzen describes as “the formidable hierarchies of power stacked about them and how the sense of alien menace is deployed in the service of such powers. While we strive and struggle, the edifice of a security state is quietly built up around us.” The piece was installed in two underground staircase locations at Place-Ville-Marie and Place de la Cité Internationale as part of Montreal’s 2015Art Souterrain” Festival, which was themed “Security in our Society: What Remains of our Personal Freedoms?”

Client:Edwin Janzen, New Masters, 2015. Vinyl cut-outs, installation on staircases. Image courtesy of the artist. © Edwin Janzen.
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