Under Black Carpets

  • 22 January 2015 - 8 February 2015

Under Black Carpets invites you to challenge your perception and prove your detective capabilities. Unravel the evidence and take part in this interactive forensic study of a fictional Los Angeles bank robbery by exploring the evidence on display.

In this pop-up exhibition, artist Ilona Gaynorpresents an intricate crime scene investigation of a fictional bank robbery in Los Angeles through the perspective of cinema and pop culture. Visitors are invited to build a case using the evidence on display by considering the capacity of these objects to suggest trajectories of criminal action and intent. 


This idea of using objects to form an evidence-based argument relates to a real shift in police investigations from human witnesses to material forensics (based for instance on DNA samples, satellite surveillance, ballistic and other scientific methods). To realise the project, Gaynor collaborated with the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department to better understand the mindset of a police officer and the way material traces are used to reconstruct events. 


The evidence presented in the gallery space includes satellite photos and scale

figures of witnesses, hostages and bystanders, as well as architectural scale models of downtown Los Angeles, vehicles and possible weapons. These objects combine to offer the visitor the opportunity to investigate the scene, as Gaynor encourages us to take our interest in forensics one step further.


Under Black Carpets is accompanied by a set of activities inviting the public to explore a range of forensic tools and apply a forensic approach to their everyday experiences. Participants are encouraged to assume the role of jury and investigator, engage in the practice of fabricating evidences, and think about experience in terms of material traces. Visitors will also be able to use 3D printing to create and keep an object resulting from their personal investigation.  


Curated by Gabriella Arrigoni