Weights & Measures

Bradley McCallum

Weights & Measures is a socially engaged public art project that examines international justice through portraits.

Large-scale oil paintings of defendants, photographs of justice practitioners and audio installations of witnesses and victims are presented in the traveling exhibition. McCallum’s exhibition challenges us to think critically about the legacy of international tribunals, the issues facing the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the voices of victims in seeking justice.

The exhibition presents a proposition—can portraiture effectively open a space to discuss the underlying issues central to genocide, atrocity crimes and human rights abuses—and contribute to restorative justice efforts taking place.

Portraits

Defendants

Central to Weights and Measures is a series of oil paintings based on photographs of defendants taken as they appeared before international courts and tribunals. The collection of images employs a visual language of traditional portraiture while intentionally subverting conventional expectations that the genre embodies. Rather than memorializing its subjects, the portraits unveil the psyches of each subject by examining the dissonance between what the world sees in public and what lies beneath in the internal subjective landscapes of defendants standing trial for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

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Victims

The paintings of defendants are complemented by a series of audio portraits. McCallum manipulates light and sound to share testimonials from witnesses and victims who have been impacted by the acts of war crimes and human rights violations.

The victim testimonials share the space of the installation with the paintings of the defendants, creating a dialogue between the two.

Practitioners

The third-tier of the exhibition is comprised of a set of color photographs of justice practitioners who contributed significantly to international judicial initiatives, such as the Rome Statute.

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Take a look the first major exhibition of Weights and Measures, in the former Number Four Prison at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg SA.

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Tour

Beginning in February 2017, the exhibition Weights and Measures will debut in South Africa, and travel to some of the countries that have experienced war crimes, and culminate in The Hague, the home of the ICC. Each exhibition venue further contextualizes the project, broadening the discussion around international justice as a whole.

The tour will launch in Johannesburg, South Africa at Constitution Hill, a cultural museum located in a former prison used to detain Mandela, Gandhi, and other political protesters and next to South Africa’s Constitutional Court. This powerful site and the importance of post-Apartheid South Africa will set the tone for this project. We will then bring the exhibition to Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, a city frequently at the epicenter of the DRC’s conflicts.

In Uganda, Weights and Measures will be installed at venues in Kampala, the nation’s capital, as well as in rural communities that directly experienced the crimes for which the ICC has indicted former rebel leaders. The dynamic cultural spaces in Nairobi will host Weights and Measures in Kenya. The tour will culminate in The Hague, Netherlands in multiple locations across the International City of Peace and Justice and site of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This final location will reflect the dialogue from the African tour.