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Forensic Architecture in the Theatre and the Gallery: A Reflection on Counterhegemonic Potentials and Pitfalls of Art Institutions

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  • Anika Marschall
  • ,
  • Ann Christine Simke, University of Bern

This article examines the status of counterhegemonic 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 counterhegemonic potential. As evidence, we present a critical experiential account of our visit to Forensic Architecture's gallery exhibition Counter Investigation at the Institute of Contemporary Arts 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 contributes to the debate in performance studies on institutional critique.

TidsskriftTheatre Research International
Sider (fra-til)142-159
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
It is being funded through the European Research Council (2011–21) and several major charity foundations: the David and Elaine Potter Foundation (2015–18), the Oak Foundation (2016–19), Open Society Foundations (2018–21) and the Sigrid Rausing Trust (2016–23). Other funding comes from commissions by various organizations and groups on a project basis: from museums that exhibit the agency's work, or from NGOs that the agency partners with, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © International Federation for Theatre Research 2022.

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