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Judy Radul: World Rehearsal Court

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver Oct 9 to Dec 6 2009
Judy Radul  <i>World Rehearsal Court</i>  2009  Production still Judy Radul World Rehearsal Court 2009 Production still

Judy Radul <i>World Rehearsal Court</i> 2009 Production still

Vancouver artist Judy Radul tackles troubling tensions between theatricality and testimony, artifice and documentation in World Rehearsal Court, her latest video installation currently on view at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Comprised of a seven-channel video that presents nearly four hours of courtroom vignettes based on transcripts from the International Criminal Tribunals—as well as live footage from surveillance cameras installed throughout the gallery—World Rehearsal Court meditates on the idiosyncratic rituals that drive Western justice systems. The special high-security courtrooms that inspired Radul’s piece are the setting for high-stakes proceedings such as war-crimes tribunals and high-profile terrorism cases. By reframing these sites as movie sets, World Rehearsal Court draws attention to the theatrical nature of proceedings that seem to isolate justice from the “real world” and create an eerie delay between lived experience and its codification in law. Shown in the context of Vancouver, a city famous for standing in for other locales in American movies and television programs, Radul’s work lends a surprisingly weighty charge to more frivolous notions of make-believe. (1825 Main Mall, Vancouver BC)

This article was first published online on November 5, 2009.

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