The Case for Art
Oct 7 to Nov 21, 2021

Works shown: Zuleikha Chaudhari: “Landscape as evidence: artist as witness“ (2017), Tyler Coburn: “Richard Roe“ (2019), Alice Creischer: “Proudhon, the December 10 Society, and the Lazy Debtors Club“ (2012), Irrenoffensive Berlin: “Foucault Tribunal“ (1998), Rajkamal Kahlon: “Did you Kiss the Dead Body?“ (2012ff), Helen Knowles: „The Trial of Superdebthunterbot“ (2016), Ronald Searle: Drawings from the Eichmann Trial (1961), Abderrahmane Sissako: „amako“ (2006), Peter Spillmann and Marion von Osten: “Viet Nam Discourse“ (2016), and Felix Topolski, Drawings from the Nuremberg Trials (1946).

The eponymous exhibition combines filmed art works, tribunal documentaries, and artistic works that address and critique the institution of the tribunal – as well as a spatial intervention designed by Mirjam Thomann – created for this exhibition, and framing it in an installation-like language as a site of negotiation.
In recent decades, the historical format of the political tribunal has become an increasingly influential artistic communication structure for dealing with social conflicts – in theater, cinema, and literature, but especially in the field of performance art. In staged or live-recorded (re)performances of legal and social exchanges that are – often to the point of identification – placed in truth-finding and reconciliation processes, completely new, performatively speaking and listening legal subjects and new kinds of visibilities and speaker* positions emerge within the artistic field. The potentially differentiating spectrum of subjective perceptions and judgments articulates in its public performance previously unconfrontable attitudes and viewpoints, that can border on manifestations of protest and enlightenment. In the exchange of accusation and confession, in making the secret and previously unheard appear, in the unsettling experience of being able to change previously fixed positions, participants and viewers encounter central characteristics of the historical tribunal – in the “tribunalism” of art.

curated by Susanne Leeb and Clemens Krümmel