In our age of globalisation, the questions of how countries divide and where law stops become a profound concept. On a daily basis we see examples of global justice being exercised over ‘broken’ countries, complete with all its grisly undertones. The latest exhibition at Gasworks takes a moment like this (when the laws of one country enters the sphere of another) and scrutinises the whys’, where’s and how-come’s in its own art world court.
The work comes from the research and artist group Model Court, who specialise in the interrogation, dissemination and transmission of the law. The focal point of this particular show is the recent trial of Francois Bazramba, a Rwandan national convicted of genocide by a small court in the Finnish town of Porvoo. The trial was remarkable in its use of modern technologies, video telephone calls and displacement of bodies across continents: the Finnish jury journeyed to Rwanda whilst Bazramba was present only through Skype in Finland.
In a bid to understand this international trial, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Lorenzo Pezzani and Oliver Rees have assumed the semi-fictional perspective of the AV technician employed to operate equipment during the trial. Refusing to enter into judgement calls – the members of Model Court do not discuss the political debates surrounding the genocide in Rwanda – but rather highlight how technologies have broken down spatial divides and, consequently the boundaries of national laws. The resulting mythologies are an exhibition of video, sound, drawing and installation, working together to scrutinize themes such as neo-colonialism, what constitutes aid and how history, itself, is produced. This fascinating exhibition will certainly get the brain cogs moving! (Words: Laura Thornley)
On until July 7th at Gasworks. For more info, visit: www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions