Art Crime. Legally On The Edge. A Forensic Exhibition

Curator Joanna Warsza


Venues: Lilla Bommen / Drömmarnas kaj (Kajskjul 207, GöteborgsOperan, Älvrummet, Hotel ibis Styles, Drömmarnas kaj and Betelskeppet)

The exceptionally popular Swedish-Danish TV crime series The Bridge starts with the image of a blackout: the lights go off in the whole city, bringing life to a halt. This is the moment in which a “truth terrorist” begins a series of murders, aiming to draw attention to various neglected social agendas. In the past half-century, Nordic crime and horror fiction has appeared as a kind of sublimated and staged political debate in the region, a post-Marxist critique of a society hiding its vice behind an apparent harmony. Fascination with crime fiction—as the genre fan Bertolt Brecht wrote—derives from a deeply modernist project, since it represents life as logical and coherent, where every wrong must have a reason and evil eventually fails, aspiring to the phantasm of a pure society.

The exhibition is set in downtown Göteborg, leading from the Lilla Bommen pier to the city backwaters along the so-called “Quay of Broken Dreams” (Drömmarnas kaj). Its main focus is the artists’ interest in crime at large, in its performative and narrative aspects, as well as its legal and political status. It explores the roles of artists as detectives, researchers, story-tellers, but also as social advocates and activists, investigating the sphere of the illegal, the grey zones and the loopholes of the law, and the resulting potential political or activist uses. Bringing to the fore criminal transgressions and issues of public legislation—through the history of shipwrecks, the implications of forensic architecture, the witness materials of a policeman who became an artist, the social noir and the political—the show echoes the famous Adorno quote: “Every work of art is an uncommitted crime,” since art, as much as crime, wants to eradicate the status quo. 

Joanna Warsza, Curator


Tania Bruguera (Kuba / Cuba, 1968), Åke Edwardson ( Sverige / Sweden, 1953), Forensic Architecture & Füsun Türetken (Storbritannien / UK, 2011-2014 / Turkiet / Turkey, 1972), Núria Güell (Spanien / Spain, 1981), Maja Hammarén (Sverige / Sweden, 1978), Katarzyna Krakowiak (Polen / Poland, 1980), Jill Magid (USA / 1973), Mapa Teatro (Colombia, est. 1984), Marion von Osten (Tyskland / Germany, 1963), Sunshine Socialist Cinema (Kalle Brolin & Kristina Müntzing) (est. Sverige / Sweden, 2011), Markus Öhrn (Sverige / Sweden, 1972), Dorota Lukianska participates with phoitographs in a book.