Forensic architecture in the theatre and the gallery: a reflection on counter-hegemonic potentials and pitfalls of art institutions

Ann-Christine Simke, Anika Marschall

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Abstract

This article examines the status of counter-hegemonic knowledge in art institutions – such as the theatre and the gallery – by analysing Forensic Architecture’s investigation into the murder of Halit Yozgat in Germany. We argue for paying close attention to claims about art institutions’ inherent counter-hegemonic potential. As evidence, we present a critical experiential account of our visit to Forensic Architecture’s gallery exhibition Counter Investigation at the ICA in London. Following this, we discuss how the investigation was presented at the civic tribunal Tribunal NSU Komplex auflösen, whose organizers took over and reassembled the municipal theatre Schauspiel Köln in Germany (2017). Drawing on an expert interview, we explore how the tribunal actively positioned itself against the potentially violent structure of the theatre space.
Ultimately, our discussion considers the requirements for supportive and effective political alliances by art institutions and thus it contributes to the performance studies’ debate on institutional critique.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheatre Research International
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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