Room 302

Oct 22 — Nov 26, 2005



Room 302 was an offsite exhibition presented as part of Set, a curatorial series produced in collaboration with Artspeak that explored the concepts of rehearsal and re-enactment and its relation to social roles, institutions, and histories. 

Taking place at Artspeak, Geoffrey Farmer and Judy Radul’s collaborative project Room 302 considered the space of the courtroom and the behaviours performed within it. Suggestive of a mock trial or re-enactment, Room 302 followed a script that included court transcripts, found texts, and literature, and was shot within a former courtroom at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which was previously a courthouse. 

Radul and Farmer staged their five-channel audio work, documented by a stationary video camera, and embedded it within an installation of additional courtroom set pieces taken from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s storage. Outside the frame of the video image, the artists were heard directing the characters—lawyer, judge, witness, and court guard—while in the foreground, a foley microphone was surrounded by evidence and objects used for sound effects, such as cabbages, knives, and wood flooring.

Like the theatre, with which it has historical links, the courtroom is both an architectural environment and a set of performances conducted in and supported by that space. These acts hover between the real and the represented to demonstrate the truth (or falsity) of testimony and the credibility of evidence.

A result of Farmer and Radul’s shared interest in remaking, Room 302 played out in the overlap between the “truth” of a performance, the mediation of recording technologies, and the suggestive power of objects—the indirect means by which we grapple with the complex territory of the real.

Curated by Lorna Brown and Jonathan Middleton.

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