Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Fiona Tan (Dutch/Australian, b. Indonesia, 1966)

Correction, 2004

Color video installation

Dimensions variable

Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York and the Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles.

Fiona Tan’s Correction, consists of six video screens arranged in a circle, projecting images of inmates and guards from Illinois and California prisons. The installation is a reference to eighteenth-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s prison model that he termed the panopticon, which means “all-seeing.” Bentham’s circular building divided into cells allowed guards to anonymously survey inmates from a central tower, suggesting that the threat of being observed would keep prisoners under control. In Correction, this powerful gaze is reversed as both the prisoners and guards seem to watch viewers sitting in the center of the installation.