Exhibition Floorplan

Public Events


Parallel Construction | 9.11.21

Image: Code Names of the Surveillance State by Trevor Paglen (projection by The Illuminator)

Parallel Construction was a 2-day exhibition and public event organized by Laura Poitras and Sean Vegezzi to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the start of the United States’ “war on terror.” 

The exhibition took place September 10 and 11 at the historic St. George’s Church in the neighborhood formerly known as Little Syria, just south of the World Trade Center. Parallel Construction included works by artists, filmmakers, and journalists at the forefront of investigating the impacts of the “war on terror,” and in documenting untold histories in New York City.

At sunset, the activist-collective The Illuminator projected Trevor Paglen’s Code Names of the Surveillance State on the 50-story Holiday Inn adjacent to St. George’s Church. The scrolling text of 21,000 secret code names was visible alongside the Tribute in Light 9/11 memorial. 

“Parallel Construction” refers to a law enforcement tactic used to build a parallel, legally conducted investigation in order to conceal the illegal methods used to begin an investigation and gather evidence. This tactic has been used in the post-9/11 era to conceal illegal activities such as torture and warrantless surveillance.

St. George’s Church | Little Syria
103 Washington Street, New York City