Research Handbook on Art and Law
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Research Handbook on Art and Law

Edited by Jani McCutcheon and Fiona McGaughey

Featuring international contributions from leading and emerging scholars, this innovative Research Handbook presents a panoramic view of how law sees visual art, and how visual art sees law. It resists the conventional approach to art and law as inherently dissonant – one a discipline preoccupied with rationality, certainty and objectivity; the other a creative enterprise ensconced in the imaginary and inviting multiple, unique and subjective interpretations. Blending these two distinct disciplines, this unique Research Handbook bridges the gap between art and law.
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Chapter 14: The exorcist: law’s crimes and art’s super powers

Desmond Manderson


Rafael Cauduro’s mural The Seven Crimes of Justice, situated in the Supreme Court of Mexico, speaks to the old problem of the relationship between art, politics and the State. In Mexico City, the birthplace of modern muralism, Rafael Cauduro confronts its ambivalent legacy and offers up new solutions. And at the same time, at the very heart of the legal system, Cauduro presents a critique of law and justice almost unprecedented in its uncompromising determination to lay bare the brutality of contemporary legal phenomena. This chapter examines how Cauduro’s aesthetic choices address the history of modern muralism, and how his thematic choices address the history of modern law. This chapter addresses questions of time and memory, and demonstrates how the trope of the ghost has not merely aesthetic power but legal importance.

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