The F.B.I. watched the artist Arnold Mesches from 1945 to 1972. They analyzed his political and social activities, and engaged friends, neighbors, and even a lover as informants, compiling a 760-page dossier on him. Eleven years ago, Mesches obtained access to the files under the Freedom of Information Act, and turned them into art.
“The F.B.I. Files,” on view at the Weatherspoon through Sept. 5, consists of provocative collages that have been described as “contemporary illuminated manuscripts.” The exhibition at the Weatherspoon includes a selection of collages from the overall project as well as large-scale paintings inspired by the experience.
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Arnold Mesches will discuss the work in the exhibition. The talk by the artist and activist will begin at 5 p.m., in the Weatherspoon.