25.APRIL.2008, 16:00@Cinema, Main Building, Goldsmiths College
Screening of A Crime Against Art, followed by an after discussion moderated by  Nazli Gurlek & Fatos Ustek

A Crime Against Art

Director: Hila Peleg, Madrid/Berlin, 2007, 100 min, original footage DV
“A Crime Against Art” – This staged conceptual trial on the morals of participation in the contemporary art field blurs the lines of script and character with its real performers and their possibly actual beliefs. Suddenly art promoters and theorists take on the appearance of criminals in a kind of daily TV-court, questioning the responsibility and negotiating the performative aspects of the art discourse.” 
New Vision Award, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, 2007

A Crime Against Art is a film based on the trial staged at an art fair in Madrid in February 2007 by Anton Vidokle and Tirdad Zolghadr. The trial, inspired by the mock trials organized by avant-garde movements in the 1920’s and 30’s, theatrically raised a number of polemical issues in the world of contemporary art: collusion with the ‘new bourgeoisie’, instrumentalization of art and its institutions, the future possibility of critical artistic agency and other pertinent subjects. The trial begins with the assumption that a crime has been committed, yet its nature and evidence are allusive and no victims have come forward. The testimonies and cross-examinations become an attempt by the Judge (Jan Verwoert), the Prosecutors (Vasif Kortun and Chus Martinez) and the Defense Attorney (Charles Esche) to unravel the nature of the puzzling “crime against art”. Set as a television courtroom drama and filmed by four camera crews, A Crime Against Art presents a condensed 100 minute version of a the trial.

Cast: Defendants: Anton Vidokle and Tirdad Zolgdhar
Prosecutors: Vasif Kortun and Chus Martinez
Defense attorney: Charles Esche
Judge: Jan Verwoert
Expert witnesses: Maria Lind and Anselm Franke
Artist: Setareh Shabazi
Public: Keti Chukrov and Barnaby Drabble
With special contribution by Liam Gillick.