Saturday, 13 June 2015

Seminar on illicit images

I can draw this seminar without incurring a criminal record. Unlike in a court - the Supreme Court excepted - where it's illegal to draw (section 41, Criminal Justice Act 1925). The court sketches you see in the newspapers have to be done from memory. Meanwhile, people tweet goodness-knows-what defamation and contempt from the public seats.

Professor Linda Mulcahy, Department of Law, London School of Economics reads Economies of illicit images: understanding the ban on photography in English courts. 

She shows courtroom photos snatched from odd angles. Dr Crippen and Ethel Le Neve in the dock. Poisoner Frederick Seddon being sentenced to death in 1912. Early courtroom paparazzi had top hats on their laps with a hole in and a camera inside. They coughed to cover the sound of the shutter. This reminds me of the time I had to skewer someone's bollocks for taking illicit photos in life class.

Professor Leslie J. Moran, School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London, reads Televising the judicial ‘money shot’: making and managing screen images of judges delivering their judgments. Baroness Hale's spectacle case is caught on video, colourful and folklorique among clean curves of pale wood in the Supreme Court.

From Australia we have Dr Peter Doyle, curator of the exhibitions Suburban Noir, City of Shadows and Crimes of Passion, drawn from the Forensic Photography Archive at Sydney's Justice and Police Museum; associate professor of media at Macquarie University. His paper, Ways of looking, limits of seeing: displaying the forensic photograph is all Hitchcock, sinister banality. Bloodstains on a café floor.

Professor Katherine Biber, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, Visiting Scholar at Birkbeck School of Law, Visiting Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies reads Redacted readymades: art from bureaucratic secrets. Creative crossings-out, the art of absence. Lacunae. Black holes, punched in images deemed unfit to be shown, become part of the composition.

The chairman is Dr Thomas Giddens, St Mary’s University, Twickenham. The event is organised by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in collaboration with Birkbeck. The redacted images in my current exhibition in Oslo are under the counter in the gallery.

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