This exhibition seeks to ask, “what is a crime?” The exhibition title, derived from an obsolete law still on the books in Los Angeles, points to the definitions of criminal behavior as sometimes absurd, other times poetic, and occasionally magical. The exhibition includes traditionally understood artworks, as well as objects and images produced through committing crimes and solving crimes. Many pieces on view are simultaneously artworks and the works of criminals or crime solvers.
What constitutes crime is nearly as broad a question as what constitutes art. While crime's definition might seem static, it necessarily evolves alongside our culture's changing ideas of right and wrong. Violating rules, of course, exists beyond just legal definitions. It has been at the center of avant-garde strategies for a century. Looking at the ways that art has participated in crime, and how crime has generated art, gives us a better understanding of both.
The exhibition contains works by Frank Bender, Mike Bidlo, Andrea Bowers, Robert Buck, Mel Chin, John Divola, Honore Daumier, Gregory Green, Daniel Guzman, Victor Henderson, Elmyr de Hory, Adam Janes, William E. Jones, Joanna Hughes, Dawn Kasper, Les Krims, Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz-Starus, David Levine, Bill McRight, Ana Mendieta, Kori Newkirk, Lisa Oppenheim, Hirsch Perlman, Tom Sachs, anonymous photos from the collection of Luc Sante, Ted Soqui, Dirk Skreber, and T.R. Uthco and Ant Farm.