Will Benedict, Fiction is a Terrible Enemy at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome

Law & Order was an American television program running on the NBC network for 19 years. It has been spun off and franchised into six American iterations, five video games, as well as French, British and Russian versions. In 2016 Donald Trump declared himself the Law and Order candidate. My friend Justine is always late, which is rather impolite. She could use some Law and Order in her life. Law and Order can simply be patronizing but at its worse can also be political shorthand for the imprisonment of millions of people.

For my exhibition at Fondazione Giuliani I will be premiering a new music video I made for the band Wolf Eyes called “I AM A PROBLEM (Enemy Ladder)”, along with a selection of movies and music videos made in the past few years. Last summer for the Berlin Biennial I made another music video for Wolf Eyes called “I AM A PROBLEM (T.O.D.D.)”, which features an alien being interviewed by Charlie Rose on the subject of immigration. This new “I AM A PROBLEM” video follows a SWAT team staked outside of a quiet family home where a woman is reading a book, oblivious to, or unconcerned about, the police activity outside her window. The book she is reading reveals dark secrets about our potential collective desire for a release from this corporeal world. I think.

In 1996 another friend of mine named Chris had a band called Razorburn 77. I don’t know why the band was called that. But they had a song called Law & Order that was just the theme song to the TV show Law & Order. It was funny at the time but also terrible. At about this time Bill Clinton had just instituted the Three Strikes Law, which was coined from the game of baseball and that sent any offender who had three felony convictions to life imprisonment no matter the severity of the crime. As it turned out, three strikes created a cruel, Kafkaesque criminal justice system that lost all sense of proportion. Shoplifting from a department store, pilfering change from a parked car, or passing a bad check could land you in prison for life. Fiction is a terrible enemy.

- Will Benedict

Fondazione Giuliani – via Gustavo Bianchi, 1 – 00153 Rome Italy
Opening Friday 10 February 2017, 6–9pm
11 February – 8 April 2017