Katherine Biber: In Crime’s Archive: The Cultural Afterlife of Evidence
Katherine Biber’s study of criminal evidence is a cabinet of curiosities and a real page-turner of a book. She asks and answers questions about what happens when objects come into the criminal justice process and then journey beyond it into wider culture. The objects she has encountered on her research journey range from plaster casts of the gallstones of a murder victim, to doll house size recreations of scenes of violent and unexplained death, to parts of the underside of a car dashboard. Photographs, of crime scenes, broken bodies, blood stains and of course portraits of those accused of crimes are another ubiquitous category of forensic object that her inquiry engages.
Taking the form of a variety of case studies it is a beautifully written examination of ‘evidence’ explored through a number of contemporary cultural events and institutions. The largest number of chapters focuses on exhibitions in museums and art galleries. They incorporate objects that have been classed as evidence...
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