My UMMA feature about Courtney McClellan’s ‘Witness Lab’ installation

Screen Shot 2020-05-09 at 12.11.56 PMA courtroom has always been an emotionally charged space.

It’s where ideas and memories are challenged; conflicting argument are voiced; and our sense of justice is either frustrated or satisfied by a judge’s (or a jury’s) ruling.

Yet this inherent tension is precisely what inspired Courtney McClellan to create Witness Lab, a performance-activated installation at UMMA’s Stenn Gallery (February 5-May 17), co-presented by the Roman J. Witt Residency Program at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Resembling an austere courtroom painted in shades of blue of white, Witness Lab invited visitors to consider the relationship between performance and the law, as well as the concept of witnessing as a social and artistic act.

Programmed events, meanwhile, explored the deep connection between the courtroom’s function and its physical space.

“Chloe Root’s Community High School mock trial team opened Witness Lab,” said McClellan, who hails from Greensboro, North Carolina. “They were really engaged and made me so hopeful about the impact of the project, but also the importance of practice and learning at even an early age.” READ THE REST HERE

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