Artist, writer, and filmmaker, Jill Magid, embraces a critical view of authority. She inserts herself into systems of control to become a protagonist within them, generating an interconnected body of work (sculpture, installation, performance, books, moving image) that drives each investigation forward. She has trained as a spy, a police officer, and a journalist embedded in Afghanistan. She has starred in films made on CCTV, been hired by police to bedazzle their surveillance cameras, exhumed an artist’s remains to question the private control of his work, and her remains will become a diamond owned by a collector when she dies. In 2008, her commission by the Dutch Secret Service to give it a "human face" resulted in the Dutch government's confiscation of her work from the Tate Modern in London.
The artist's work is deeply rooted in experience as she explores the emotional, philosophical, and legal tensions that exist between institutions and individual agency. To work together with or within large organizations, Magid looks for systemic gaps that allow her to get in touch with people on the 'inside'. The work tends to be characterized by the dynamics of seduction and the resulting narratives often take the form of a love story. These intimate encounters with bureaucratic systems are a means to develop a more nuanced critique, asking what fears and whose insecurities the system is designed to protect.