Gallery's 9/11 Homage Uses Confiscated Items

Artist's medium is items confiscated during airport screenings.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    "Fear Culture"

    A San Francisco art gallery is marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11attacks with a show of works created from items confiscated at airport security screenings.

    Bay Area artist Michele Pred received special permission to  acquire objects such as knives and scissors that were taken from passengers  at San Francisco International Airport.

    Pred was working as a limousine driver when the terrorist attacks  occurred in 2011 and was struck by the accounts she heard from her passengers  in the days that followed.

    "There was a lot of shock and horror and chaos," she said.

    Pred said she was particularly struck by the emotional response  passengers had to the sudden change in airline safety rules when their  belongings were confiscated.

    Practically overnight, she said, "plain, everyday objects...all of  the sudden these objects are weapons."

    Things like plastic sewing scissors and nail clippers were now  "embedded with meaning," Pred said.

    Pred spent five months in 2002 petitioning for permission to use  the confiscated items. "I didn't know what I was going to do with it or what  is was going to be," she said.

    She used the objects as building blocks to create art  installations and other works in the form of red crosses, hearts and maps of  the United States.

    "To me, that represents a time capsule, almost," Pred said.

    She wanted to create a new exhibit for the 10th anniversary of  9/11 to see how the public's perception has changed over the decade.

    She said that personally she wonders how effective the heightened  security really is. "I think it creates a false sense of security," she said.  "But maybe there's a place for that -- to make people feel better."

    Pred created a video to capture travelers' stories about personal  items that have been confiscated at airports. People who wish to record their  own account or read others' stories can visit her Facebook page  "(Re)collections: Share Your Airport Confiscation Stories."

    Pred's work will appear through Oct. 8 in a show called  "Confiscated" at the Jack Fischer Gallery, located at 49 Geary St.

    An opening reception will be held on Sept. 10 at 4 p.m.