* archive of old works coming soon

mdgoerzen [at] gmail.com

pgp public key


normal power, 2014


Matt Goerzen

mdgoerzen [at] gmail.com

Obscurity through Security, 2014

Matt Goerzen


Hundreds of security stickers are discovered on windows of Montreal homes and businesses. They describe different forms of protection, from CCTV monitoring to something-involving-cayenne-pepper spray. They affirm commitments to the safety of breastfeeding mothers, women more generally, the planet itself. They comfort: offering knowledge that foodhandling practices are inspected regularly, that commercial practices are mandated by Better Business Bureaus (BBBs).


Seen and unable to be unseen, many of these badges are photographed in high-resolution and brought into Photoshop; Laid out in a single file, they are printed before being scissored out and affixed, en masse, to the window of an art gallery using 3M Scotch tape. Ironically (were it not expected) the aestheticized, performative signification of security demonstrates the opposite effect when aggregated. The gallery, and its contents, are suddenly revealed to be anything but more secure for the effort. One wonders, perhaps, how many of these stickers are similarly hollow in affect when found in the wild—boasts rather than threats. Is the chien de sécurité’s bark worse than his bite, or did she simply never exist?


Meanwhile, inside, paintings inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s Mirror series—sublime attempts to depict reflection while disregarding the ontological need for a thing to be reflected—are hanged on the wall behind stickered, etched and graffitied glass, skeumorphic inkjet-printed aluminum caulked window frames and time-proven cast-iron security grills (purchased—used and at a bargain—on kijiji.ca). Layers upon layers of security—both physical, virtual and semiotic—ultimately interpolate themselves between the viewer, the collector, the potential thief and




a nothingness: depicted in paint on canvas, of dubious value and an uncertain utility.


Originally presented as part of Invisible Heavy Hand at Montreal’s The French Restaurant, curated by Emma Siemens-Adolphe and Eli Kerr. Obscurity through Security is part of a broader research project exploring the way high-level security practices trickle down to the mainstream user / consumer.


tags: popsec



(click pics for alternate views)


fairly recent work

Oil Paint, on canvas


featuring also:


security stickers, glass, the mysterious graffiti artist "B0NEZ", paint marker, rusted cast-iron security grate,robertson screws, coloured pencil, inkjet on canvas, and plenty of Scotch brand tape!

"Obscurity through security," presented at the French Restaurant, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2014.

unsolicited redesign of FOFA galerie signage, with pigeon spikes.

hijacking business identities online. IF THERE IS ONLY ONE WEBSITE AND YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT IT STILL LOOKS OFFICIAL BY DEFAULT, PEOPLE. (advertising revenue, credit cards) These remain in the wild.



Matt Goerzen