Weights and Measures
We are excited to have the support of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) with a $15,000 grant towards the production of Weights and Measures in 2016. This support comes on top of established support from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), who also support Weights and Measures in 2016.
Large-scale oil paintings of defendants, photographs of justice practitioners and audio installations of witnesses and victims are presented in the traveling exhibition Weights and Measures. McCallum’s exhibition challenges us to think critically about the legacy of international tribunals, the issues facing the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the voices of victims in seeking justice.
This exhibition presents a proposition - can portraiture effectively open a space to discuss the underlying issues central to genocide, atrocity crimes and human rights abuses – and contribute to restorative justice efforts taking place.
The paintings are presented as diptychs comprised of highly realized color portraits and their “reversals”—black-and-white portraits that use the same source images but appear as solarized scans of the subjects’ inner characters. The diptychs represent a cross-section of powerful men who have been held accountable in international tribunals.
A body of photographic portraits of individuals who played a key role in the historic processes of drafting the Rome Statute, the international treaty that established the ICC in 2002, serve as a counterpoint to the paintings.
A third tier to the project will include a sound-and-light sculptural installation presenting the stories of mass-atrocity witnesses and survivors. Over time, the audience is invited to share their perspectives on individual cases or international justice as a whole. As such, the audio archive will build over time to give a fuller picture of how the public engages with justice mechanisms, using artistic interventions as a trigger.
The audio testimonial portraits, when paired with the photographs of the Justice Practitioners, will speak back to the defendants in the paintings and suspend the viewer within the space of the dialogue.
This project grew out of a unique, one-year embedded research residency for Bradley McCallum (2014-15) produced in partnership between Conjunction Arts and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC). In February 2017, the set of work will launch its international tour in Johannesburg, South Africa, continuing onto the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Kenya, culminating in The Hague, Netherlands, the site of the ICC.