Secrecy and surveillance
Simon Denny's work, Secret Power, presented at the 2015 Venice Biennale, questioned globalisation, government, privacy, and citizenship.
It took its name from a a 1996 book by Nicky Hager about New Zealand’s involvement in the 'Five Eyes' intelligence network.
Denny's practice is very different from that of the portraitist responsible for painting Keith Holyoake, New Zealand's Prime Minister from 1960-1972. Yet you might be surprised to learn that Holyoake was in power when it was first publicly acknowledged that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) existed.
Left: William Dargie, The Right Hon. Keith J. Holyoake C.H, 1965, oil on canvas. Gift of Sir Henry J Kelliher, 1967. Te Papa (1967-0019-1)
Right: Simon Denny, Modded Server-Rack Display with Some Interpretations of Imagery from NSA MYSTIC, FOXACID, QUANTUMTHEORY, and Other SSO/TAO Slides, 2015, mixed media. Te Papa (2015-0052-1/AA-KO TO KO-KO). Photograph by Nick Ash