UCI Opening Reception – UAG Gallery presents Andrea Geyer
Andrea Geyer's opening reception at the UAG Gallery, UCIrvine. (photo by: Joanna Grasso)
Last night I had an adventure, with camera and compass in hand I made my way over to Irvine for the opening reception of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) UAG Gallery solo exhibition entitled Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb by artist Andrea Geyer.
Geyer's six channel video projection revisits, unpacks, and investigates the crimes against humanity trial of Adolf Eichmann's, Israeli Supreme Court (1950).
For those of you history buffs out there here is a list of Eichmann's (aka "architect of the Holocaust")
charges, to give you an idea of the significance and severity of the trial.
*** NOTE: list of charges taken from the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team website and further information can be found there.
Eichmann was charged with 15 counts under Israeli law seeking to punish Nazis and their cohorts:
Charge 1: He was ultimately responsible for the murder of millions of Jews.
Charge 2: He placed these Jews, before they were murdered, in living conditions designed to kill them.
Charge 3: He caused them grave physical and mental harm.
Charge 4: He took actions which resulted in the sterilization of Jews and otherwise prevented childbirth.
Charge 5: He caused the enslavement, starvation, and deportation of millions of Jews.
Charge 6: He caused general persecution of Jews based on national, racial, religious and political grounds.
Charge 7: He spoiled Jewish property by inhuman measures involving compulsion, robbery, terrorism and violence.
Charge 8: That all of the above were punishable war crimes.
Charge 9: He deported a half-million Poles.
Charge 10: He deported 14,000 Slovenes.
Charge 11: He deported tens of thousands of gypsies.
Charge 12: He deported and murdered 100 Czech children from the village of Lidice.
Now that you have some history, here is what it translated as by the talented and discriminating hands of New York based artist Andrea Geyer.
The exhibition is superbly installed and the work is poignant. The six channel video installation, Criminal Case 40/61 (seen above), requires the observer to enter into a central space where escape from the issues at hand is nearly impossible. Sound and visuals swirl around you as Geyer uses direct pointing and irony to spotlight not only questions of memory and historic referents, but also the absurdity of judicial systems and their theatricality. I am reminded of Kafka's novel Trial and the parallels between his own writings and the state of what remains of his estate today. Check out the New York Times gripping article on this ongoing battle from Sept 22nd entitled Kafka's Last Trial.. . .
Go see the show, it's the best thing I've seen in Irvine in ages. Oh, and don't forget your GPS. Irvine is a mysterious place, my advice is bring along snacks, a flare gun, and a compass (or snazzy new phone) and everything will work out just fine.
-Joanna Grasso, Contributing Writer