The Show Trial of Mark Kennedy and Mark Stone: Simon Farid

3 - 10 August 2012 Gallery Exhibitions
‘The Show Trial…’ is a video installation and live-performance project looking at the recent events surrounding PC Mark Kennedy, an undercover policeman who lived for seven years as an activist called ‘Mark Stone’, infiltrating groups of environmental activists all over Europe and forming a romantic relationship with a female activist.
An exercise in evidence collection, Farid’s work recalls avant-garde traditions of the readymade, found footage and appropriation and conducts a survey of representation through contemporary journalistic culture in which intuitive, often humorous, connections are made between different orders of information. This installation and video work will pave the way for an exploratory live-performance piece at the conclusion of the exhibition, the show trial. This will use the collected evidence, both real and speculated, to interrogate people relevant to the case, some genuinely involved and some actors hired by the artist.
This body of work reflects Farid’s continuing interest in social performativity and one’s projection of self in the contemporary Western urban experience. Farid’s reading of Kennedy’s deception and multiple selves as a synecdoche of wider simulation in culture allows him to open out questions about the way we construct and present ourselves in everyday social contexts, the ethics of this in terms of romantic relationships and gender roles, as well as looking at wider questions about a citizen’s place in relation to society, the state and surveillance and the power structures that bind all these things together.