“Those who go round and round in circles“
Inquiry-artwork in the field of international justice
A project by Franck Leibovici & Julien Seroussi, presented by Virginie Bobin
Since 2014, Julien Seroussi, a social science researcher, and Franck Leibovici, an artist and poet, have been conducting an unprecedented experiment. Their project, law intensity conflicts, stems from Julien Seroussi’s observations as a legal assistant at the Katanga/Ngudjolo trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, between 2009 and 2014. This experiment, which they call “inquiry-artwork”, uses the tools of art, documentary poetry (poetry that no longer focuses on the “text” as a unit of meaning, but on the “document” as an artifact with pragmatic effects) and the social sciences to analyse and attempt to change the ICC’s current practices of processing materials. The tools take the form of installations, books, workshops and radio interventions. They are intended to be used by Court professionals, as well as by affected communities and researchers – any audience concerned by these trials but isolated from each other. How can civil society take part in international justice, in new forms, for it to become a platform for cultural invention and no longer just a technical institution reserved for experts?
The text, the product of four years of conversation between Virginie Bobin, Franck Leibovici and Julien Seroussi, is presented as a series, published in several episodes, most of which were written in the fall of 2018, except for a few paragraphs written in the spring of 2019. The text covers the stages of law intensity conflicts carried out between 2014 and 2018.
franck leibovici (poet, artist)
has attempted to portray, in the form of exhibitions, performances and publications, so-called “low intensity” conflicts from a documentary point of view by using graphic scores and notation systems from experimental music, dance, linguistics – documents poétiques (al dante, 2007), portraits chinois (al dante, 2007), low intensity conflicts – un mini-opéra pour non musiciens (ed. mf, 2019); has published spam mails, 70-hour speeches and amateur sex tape transcriptions (lettres de jérusalem, 2012; filibuster, jeu de paume, 2013, de l’amour, ed. jean-boîte, 2019); has worked on the ecology of the work of art – (des formes de vie) – une écologie des pratiques artistiques (les laboratories d’aubervilliers / questions théoriques, 2012), des récits ordinaires (les presses du monde / villa arson, 2014), refresh! / collecting live art (tate modern / koenig, 2012-2014), the training – an artwork for later / and after (venice biennale, 2017); is currently working, with julien seroussi, on a new cycle of exhibitions and publications (bogoro, eds. questions théoriques, 2016; muzungu, bunkier sztuki, krakow; ngbk, berlin, 2017; cité internationale des arts, paris, 2018; école nationale de la magistrature, bordeaux, 2019; international criminal court, the hague, 2019-2020) around the invention of contemporary international justice and the first trial of the international criminal court (icc) of the hague.
started taking interest in international criminal justice within the course of his dissertation on legal battles around the definitions of universal jurisdiction of national judges. After and experience at the International Criminal Court from 2009 to 2012, and he carried on his career within the War Crime Unit of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris. Recently, he was a member of an official expert group created by the French government on genocidal studies.
The title law intensity conflicts refers to another cycle of works by Franck Leibovici, low intensity conflicts (1998-2016), which examined how some contemporary conflicts invent new ways of waging war. Following the geopolitical dimension of these conflicts, this new project focuses on the invention of international justice.
(franck leibovici, low intensity conflicts – un mini-opéra pour non musiciens, ed. mf, 2019)
Franck Leibovici, “Sur quoi opère l’art”, interview with Cristelle Terroni, La Vie des idées, 14 October 2016. http://www.laviedesidees.fr/Sur-quoi-opere-l-art.html (Consulted in October 2018).
Between 2014 and 2018, the project was presented to the Witte de With centre for contemporary art (Rotterdam); to the Ricard Foundation, the FIAC, the Kandinsky Library, the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Museum and the Institut des Études Avancées, as well as on radio stations France Culture and Chimurenga; it has been exhibited at art centres in Bunkier Sztuki (Krakow), nGbK (Berlin), La Chaufferie (Strasbourg), and the Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris).
Juger- Créer. Regards sur la Cour pénale internationale, from 26 November to 14 December 2018 at the Cité internationale des arts, Paris.