Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ciel variable - Forensics on Tom Thomson

Issue 93 of the magazine Ciel variable presents a special section on the practice and challenges of forensics as perceived through the prism of visual arts. Since the 1990s, the notion of forensic evidence has deeply penetrated contemporary culture, as illustrated by the different iterations of the TV show CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) and by its appearance in the fields of literature and architecture, among others.
The six authors who wrote essays for this special section, edited by Vincent Lavoie, discuss image-­‐based works that adopt the scientific paradigm of legal evidence while questioning the regimes of truth supported by forensics. The subjects of these works are based in legal and ethical cases, and some of them take surprising detours: confrontation of images and oral testimony in the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib (Susan Schuppli on Errol Morris); the capturing of details of dollhouse-­‐like dioramas that reconstruct crime scenes (Alexis Lussier on Corinne May Botz); decontextualization of judicial archives (Gaëlle Morel on Emmanuelle Léonard); performative re-­‐creation of DNA samples in the context of the O. J. Simpson trial (Marianne Cloutier on Paul Vanouse); police films of sexual activity in public restrooms (Vincent Lavoie sur William E. Jones); accounts of legal errors (Vincent Lavoie on Taryn Simon); and even a meteorological analysis of famous paintings by Tom Thomson, of the Group of Seven (Bénédicte Ramade on Phil Chadwick). The aesthetic-­‐legal posture thus adopted by some contemporary artists is that of expert, or even litigant, and the viewer is repositioned as arbitrator vis‐à‐vis the image.



Aleta Karstad said...

Is there a way to see this article, Phil? I'd like to read the part about Tom Thomson and yourself!

Phil the Forecasterr said...

I have yet to see the article myself Aleta:>) When I get a copy I will post it somehow.