An exploration of global terrorism, freedom of speech, and artificial intelligence as expressed through six thought-provoking installations.

Northern Irish sculptor Tim Shaw creates psychologically charged environments that address humanitarian issues designed to unsettle and provoke thought.  His work raises questions about difficult and controversial topics such as global terrorism and abuse of power.

From recreating a childhood memory of an IRA bombing in a Belfast café in Mother The Air is Blue, The Air Is Dangerous to speaking directly to viewers about moral conflicts in The Birth of Breakdown Clown, Shaw examines the human condition through immersive installations, mixed media sculpture, as well as related drawings and maquettes.

The themes in this exhibition are universal to art throughout history, yet speak to today’s specific challenges. All these works lay bare notions of our humanity–from abuses of power and the threat of terrorism to the use of money to silence free speech. These are works charged with the civics of our times, our role in society, and our future as human beings.

Please note: Due to the staff and logistics necessary for these installations, there is an additional charge ($3) for nonmembers, ages 7+.

Some may find the imagery disturbing. Parental guidance recommended.

Mother The Air is Blue, The Air Is Dangerous represents a terrorist explosion in a public place and incorporates a low-lying fog machine. Visitor discretion advised.

The Birth of Breakdown Clown is an interactive performance with limited audience capacity. Entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.


Featured: Tim Shaw, Mother The Air Is Blue the Air Is Dangerous, Immersive gallery installation (chairs, tables, revolving trays, projected images, sound and haze). Courtesy of the artist.


Support for the exhibition is provided by Taffin and Gene Ray, the members of The San Diego Museum of Art and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program. Institutional support for the Museum is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.