Artists’ Reflections on Crime and Punishment

Artists’ Reflections on Crime and Punishment is an installation of artwork, documentary recordings, and a simulated witness stand that together reflected on emotions that haunt victims of violence.

Violent crime is part of the fabric of our lives. It surrounds us all, even if it does not intimately touch most of us. We try to keep it at arm’s length; indeed, some of us pray that we will never experience it, while others alter their lifestyles in an effort to reduce its probability. To many, violent crime is both terrifying and compelling.

Artists throughout history have been intrigued by accounts of violent crime. To be sure, artists are among the countless that have reflected the pain and emotion that haunts victims of violence. This exhibition includes some of those reflections.

Woven throughout these stories is the practice of capital punishment. Intensely debated and often misunderstood, the death penalty has been justified, in part, as providing justice for murder victims and peace of mind for society generally. But those are promises that are not always kept. We are all familiar with the equally tragic stories of the innocent being executed and guilty being exonerated, as well as the complex emotions of those individuals left behind to observe the executions from the witness chambers, such as the viewing platform replicated in this gallery. What we need now is the patience and courage to reflect on both the stories told and the tragedies endured.
Exhibition Name
Artists’ Reflections on Crime and Punishment
Exhibition Type
Student Curated
Faculty Curated
Group Exhibitions
Sep 6, 2003 - Nov 9, 2003
This exhibition is organized by Beau Breslin, Assistant Professor of Government and Director, Law and Society Program, Skidmore College with Sarah Luckenback and Matthew Sweet, both class of 2004, Skidmore College.
Howard Zehr, Stain and Scout
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