Observer v. Witness
February 17, 2020
“Double Jeopardy”, GIF, 2019
Special Event: Monday, February 17, 5:30pm / Helmut Stern Auditorium, UMMA, 525 S State St, Ann Arbor 48109
Courtney McClellan is an artist and writer from Greensboro, North Carolina, and the 2019-2020 Roman J. Witt Artist in Residence. Her work addresses public ritual, institutional space, and objects that invite or demand speech. Her explorations result in sculpture, performance, installation, writing, and video. Her studio practice includes experimenting with materials, but also reaches into fields such as law, theater, and journalism. For the past five years she has studied legal simulation.
At UMMA, McClellan will mount Witness Lab, an architectural courtroom installation and performance series. The facsimile courtroom located in the glassed-in Stenn Gallery will host legal simulations from participating groups including the Trial Advocacy Society and the Oral Argument Competition from the University of Michigan Law School, as well as the undergraduate team of the Collegiate American Mock Trial Association. Additionally, court transcript readings and trial advocacy workshops will be performed in the gallery. Stamps students will observe and document the courtroom activity through drawing, text, photography, and video. The accumulated documents will result in a publication.
Witness Lab offers audiences a complex truth. By studying the courtroom as a space of performance, and the lawyers as agents of justice, participants and passersby consider the physical and social architecture of the law.
Presented in partnership with University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), presenting Witness Lab, a project by Roman J. Witt Artist in Residence Courtney McClellan. This courtroom installation is activated from February 15 through May 17, 2020. Lead support for Witness Lab is provided by the University of Michigan Law School and the Office of the Provost.