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‘Indications of Guilt, pt. 1’ – MIRROR’s first exhibition at Plymouth College of Art

MIRROR opens to the public with an exhibition examining police interrogation techniques by artist Maud Craigie.

Maud Craigie’s 'Indications of Guilt, pt. 1' will be the inaugural exhibition when MIRROR, Plymouth College of Art’s updated public gallery, events programme and online resource, opens to members of the public on Monday 17 May 2021.

Commissioned as part of the South West Showcase, 'Indications of Guilt, pt. 1' is a new exhibition examining the structures of American police interrogation and their relationship to fictional screen representations of law enforcement.

"Indications of Guilt, pt. 1" trailer

Maud Craigie works with film, performance and installation. Her work combines staged and documentary techniques to explore the extension of fictional narrative structures into everyday life. In 2017, Craigie travelled to Texas to train in America’s widely used form of psychological interrogation. The techniques used have faced scrutiny in recent years due to high false confession rates. This training provided the raw material for a new body of work, ‘Indications of Guilt, pt. 1,’ comprising a 50-minute film, shown alongside a sound work and a selection of objects from her research.

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Through reenacted detective-suspect interviews, clips from TV crime dramas, interviews with detectives, and mobile phone footage, Craigie explores how psychological interrogation can function as a process for creating fiction, while apparently seeking to establish truth. Craigie’s research was supported by the Boise Travel Scholarship, Slade School of Fine Art, 2016.

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Curator at MIRROR, Hannah Rose, said: “I’m so excited to be able to present this fantastic exhibition by Maud Craigie, which has been delayed for a year due to the pandemic. Maud’s installation and film thoughtfully invites audiences to consider the ethical implications of interrogation methods used in inciting false confessions. The work plays with ideas of creating and consuming fiction within our lived and mediated experiences.”

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MIRROR is dedicated to supporting the professional development of artists, with a particular focus on enriching the careers of artists based within the South West. MIRROR’s first exhibition is part of the South West Showcase 2020, a programme of mentoring and support for South West based artists that was established by the Gallery team at Plymouth College of Art in 2013 as a strategic response to the lack of talent development and professional exhibition opportunities for artists based in the region.

The 2021 South West Showcase Open Call closed at the end of March, with two artists based within the South West of England selected to be awarded a fee of £2000 to produce an exhibition, with an additional flexible budget to cover other costs.

The artists selected for the South West Showcase 2022 are: Huhtamaki Wab, who works between painting, performance, video, installation and sculpture, alongside his role as director of the Genius Treasure Collection; and Huma Mulji, who works with sculptural installation, photography, collage and drawing, alongside her role as Senior Lecturer, Fine Art, at University of the West of England.

Wab’s practice operates within an animistic and non-anthropocentric world. Interconnected spirits and humans populate landscapes that create ecstatic realities. Heavily informed by the animistic culture from his birthplace of Japan, depictions of yokai in ukiyo-e prints as well as contemporary representations of this heritage, for example, in cultures such as manga, can be seen in his work.

​A move to rural Devon has revitalised his acute connection to the landscape. Engaging physically through walking the moors, swimming in rivers as well as making rituals and offerings within these spaces both entangle and inform Wab's life, well-being and art making. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 16, later experiencing periods of addiction, the worlds he creates are integral to his on-going recovery, providing a space for being with and solace.

Mulji works with sculptural installation, photography, collage and drawing. The city and its collective memory, the everyday and the overlooked serve as subjects in her deliberately awkward works. Looking at the dysfunctional, the sorrowful, the futile and the funny, the sculptures stand as inconvenient witnesses to time and place, critically exploring material, form and a fragmented historical narrative.

Within a backdrop of economic globalisation, state and military power, Mulji has an abiding interest in examining the specificity of place, amplifying a perpetual discomfort and scepticism from the perspective of both observer and participant, in the face of colonialism and capitalism.

The panel of artists, curators and academics who selected the two South West Showcase 2022 artists consisted of Turner prize-winning artist Helen Cammock, Zoe Emery, curator at The Holden Gallery, and Rosie Mills Eckmire, Head of Learning at Turf Projects. They were joined by Mohini Chandra, artist and Programme Lead and MA Subject Tutor for Photography at Plymouth College of Art, along with colleagues and fellow academics Stephen Felmingham, Head of School of Critical + Cultural Studies and Stephanie Owens, Head of School of Arts + Media, as well as Hannah Rose, curator at MIRROR.