The film of a trial for crime against art.
“A Crime Against Art” is a film based on the trial staged at an art fair in Madrid in February 2007. Inspired by the mock trials organized by André Breton in the 1920s and 30s, it playfully raised a number of polemical issues in the world of contemporary art: collusion with the “new bourgeoisie,” instrumentalization of art and its institutions, the future possibility of artistic agency, as well as other pertinent topics.
The trial begins with the assumption that a crime has been committed, yet its nature and evidence are allusive and no victims have come forward. The testimonies and cross-examinations become an attempt by the Judge (Jan Verwoert
), the Prosecuters (Vasif Kortun and Chus Martínez
), and the Defense Attorney (Charles Esche) to unravel the nature of the puzzling “crime against art.” Set as a television courtroom drama and filmed by four camera crews, the film serial presents a condensed 100 minutes version of the trial.