East International 2000

Norwich Gallery / School of Art and Design

NORWICH, EAST ANGLIA'S bijou cathedral city, became a potential death trap this summer. Patrick Bateman wannabes had only to visit EAST International and invest in Simon Tegala's specially devised limited-edition piece, Murder with Impunity, 2000. This clearly signed, wickedly sharp, painfully trendy kitchen knife comes with a contract licensing buyers to do their worst, with Tegala committed to shoulder blame for “any indictable proceedings in relation to the Act.” His conceptual Grand Guignol practically hemorrhages issues: the artist as immoralist or redeemer; the power of money; the buying, selling, and “stealing” of human life: the nature of responsibility; the acte gratuit; the definition of “incitement”: the operation of laws; the dispensation of justice (an incomplete list). It's a smart, urgent piece in an absorbing, tendentious exhibition.

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