Trial / Audit

Screening & discussion with Emotional Architecture

Nida Ghouse & Malak Helmy

During their research and while attending the "What Is An Institution?" event at Beirut, Nida Ghouse and Malak Helmy devised a fictional character: the auditor of institutional ethics. For their presentation, they will revisit Hila Peleg's film "A Crime Against Art" and invite this auditor to attend the discussion that follows and share her accounts.

"A Crime Against Art" is a film based on a staged trial at an art fair in Madrid in February 2007 organized by Anton Vidokle and Tirdad Zolghadr. The trial that begins with the assumption that a crime has been committed. Yet the nature of this crime is unclear. The evidence is allusive. No victims have come forward. Inspired by the mock trials organized by André Breton in the 1920s and 30s, "A Crime Against Art" playfully raises 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 artistic agency, as well as other pertinent topics. Set as a television courtroom drama and filmed by four camera crews, the film serial presents a condensed 100 minutes version of the trial, which was produced by unitednationsplaza studios, Berlin, 2007.

Nida Ghouse is a writer born to Bombay. Malak Helmy is an artist based in Cairo. Conceived as an exercise in addressing the social and intellectual legacies of entering and leaving collaborations, Emotional Architecture is a project that started in the summer of 2012 and is on going.