Ana Torfs


Being murdered can make dying less lonely. If it leads to a criminal trial, the most solitary act of life becomes a public event, if not a theatrical spectacle, which repeatedly delves into the moments leading up to the victim’s last heartbeat. The instant of death can be as tricky to determine as the guilt of the accused. Driven by conflicting testimonies, the trial is not only a drama in itself but also an attempt to come up with one final script about the victim’s death. A trial reenacts a murder only to produce its own safer version, which turns crime into justice, death into language.

Treating testimony as a script, Ana Torfs, for her installation Anatomy, 2006, has re-created parts of the trial for the murders of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the pacifist cofounders of the Spartacist League, who were abducted and killed by Freikorps militia on January 15, 1919, in Berlin. Torfs

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