UNTITLED (THE FAMILY JEWELS)
“The Family Jewels” is a 1973 report containing responses to a request by then CIA Director James Schlesinger asking agency employees to disclose CIA operations in breach of the CIA’s legal charter. It details illegal CIA operations that date back to the 1950s. It describes the monitoring of journalists, break-ins, the surveillance of antiwar activists, the opening of mail coming from Russia and China during the Cold War, the assassination plots against foreign leaders, the detention of a Russian defector, and includes a manual on how to train foreign police in bomb-making. The report was made public in June 2007 with some sections more heavily redacted than others. I did my own editing of the document, leaving untouched original sections or words and creating “drawings” presented both in a book format and as individual prints. Shown below are the pages selected for the print edition and a sample of the 100+ pages that make the book.
The attempt at secrecy, the dryness of the descriptions (the absurd situations created by the agents, or unabashed criminal plots) are starting points for new narratives. I was interested in the many layers of information that the pages contain and conceal; in the constructions and manipulations they describe and the construction and manipulation of the document itself: the redaction marks; in the poetry and potential for narrative of both the concealing process and the concealed content. Within the original report, I weaved my own words, marks, and stories.
A series of eight pigment prints is published by Michael Steinberg and Eminence Grise Editions. For more information regarding availability and pricing please contact Michael Steinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.