Gaelen Pinnock

News:

Structure #1 was shortlisted for the 2015 Barclays L’Atelier Award

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Selected by the ABSA L'Atelier as one of the top 80 young artists of the year for 2014.

Citadel #9

Citadel #9

Giclée print on archival paper
100cm x 100cm
Editions: 5 + 2AP

Citadel #10

Citadel #10

Giclée print on archival paper
100cm x 100cm
Editions: 5 + 2AP

Citadel #11

Citadel #11

Giclée print on archival paper
100cm x 100cm
Editions: 5 + 2AP

Citadel #12

Citadel #12

Giclée print on archival paper
100cm x 100cm
Editions: 5 + 2AP

These photographic collages are part of a series on the South African urban landscape, and in this typology, the control of port access and egress.

There was a time when Cape Town’s harbour was a pleasant place to stroll, to watch the port’s activities and stop off at a restaurant for fish and chips. After 9/11 all that changed. Barriers went up, security was massively increased, men in uniform enquired as to your business and let you through on only preordained official business. It has become an outpost of United States paranoia.

Since 9/11 the US has focussed on “playing the away game,” i.e. meeting terrorist threats at their overseas sources. In 2002 the US Department of Homeland Security launched the Container Security Initiative (CSI) to increase security for container cargo shipped to the United States. This has put foreign ports under pressure to upgrade security in favour of US interests, including US inspections to insure compliance. The US also pressed the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) to draw up strict new security standards for containers and ports world-wide. In 2004, the resulting code took effect, strictly policed by the US.

These moves effectively sealed off South African ports to any casual visitors. And the security continues to tighten. In 2016 the government plans to establish a Border Management Agency to “raise the bar of compliance by an order of magnitude.” This will consolidate all government departments and agencies involved in immigration and border control. In addition, large budgets are being allocated for security infrastructure, including automated systems to monitor and control access and egress at ports of entry.

From the city’s natural link to the sea, the docks have become part of a citadel of security, yet another security enclave in an increasingly walled city.

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These Citadels were on display at Commune.1 Gallery in their Scintilla group show.

Commune.1