University Art Gallery will hold its “No Bingo for Felons” exhibition about the
relationship between art and crime. The exhibition is co-curated by artists Julian Hoeber and Alix
Lambert and the show runs through Nov. 3.
“No Bingo for Felons” is the second installment of an evolving traveling exhibition that originated in Los Angeles last year called “No Person May Carry a Fish into a Bar.” In its original version the show asked, "What is a crime?" The exhibition title, derived from an unconventional law still on the books in southeastern Pennsylvania, points to definitions of criminal behavior as sometimes absurd, occasionally humorous, and even poetic. The exhibition includes traditionally understood artworks as well as objects and images produced through committing crimes and solving crimes. Many pieces on view are the works of criminals or crime solvers.
Hoeber and Lambert narrow their focus on art that describes and alludes to violent crime in cities, while still defining crime and art to raise questions about how we perceive both.
Works include images and objects made through forensic processes, such as early 20th-century crime scene pictures from Sante’s collection, which depict empty spaces that convey a sense that something has gone terribly wrong.
Frank Bender's polychromed bust, though looking like a traditional sculpture, turns out to be the portrait of a murder victim, made by reconstructing her image from unidentifiable remains. The image served as a key piece in solving the crime.
Other artists in the show capture crime more obliquely. Kori Newkirk takes newspaper images and aligns them into a continuous composition, giving the sense that even the disordered world of violence can be comprehended through order and elegance. Photographer Alyse Emdur documents prison visiting-rooms and the unexpected idealized landscapes often depicted on the walls in these spaces, which are intended to comfort inmates and their families. Victor Henderson creates ambiguous scenes of disaster, his drawings referencing crime scene photography but depicting a personal struggle and disaster.
One tactic deployed by artists in the exhibition is engagement with the law, either in the form of its enforcers or in the form of its documents. Artist Dread Scott depicts himself as a dissident, destroying a replica of the U. S. Constitution in an act of protest that reflects the tenuousness of laws applied with prejudice, Yoshua Okón presents a group of videos that document direct confrontations with police.
The gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays and is always by appointment.
For more information about upcoming events, the exhibition, and directions to the gallery, visit gallery.arcadia.edu or call 215-572-2131 or 215-572-2133.
Information courtesy of Arcadia University