Dispatches from the Montréal Biennial: Andrea Bowers’s Piece on the Steubenville Rape Case

To create the multi-part piece “Courtroom Drawings (Steubenville Rape Case, Text Messages Entered As Evidence, 2013),” 2014, LA-based artist Andrea Bowers transcribed the texts by hand as they were read aloud in a Steubenville courtroom last year. Although, as the title indicates, they were used as evidence in the case against the Ohio football star rapists, Bowers’s piece remains the only place that they are available en masse for the public to read. (“Why wouldn’t you try and help me,” reads one of the text messages from Jane Doe.) Large rectangular drawings painstakingly created with thousands of tiny blue marker hatches, they were inspired by the virtual space of cell phones. “This project is particularly personal for me because I’m from Ohio,” Bowers told Artinfo during the show’s installation yesterday. “This project is my wanting to have a document of what rape culture is.”

In addition, Bowers has included the telephone number and contact information for local crisis hotlines in Montreal in the museum’s bathrooms.

Expect a longer transcription of our great interview with Bowers later this week.

— Ashton Cooper (ashton_cooper)

(Photos: Ashton Cooper)