Image courtesy of Heather Rasmussen
Arts and culture reporter Peter Crimmins wrote about No Bingo for Felons for WHYY’s Newsworks.com. The exhibition, on view at Arcadia University Art Gallery through Nov. 3, examines the nature of crime and its relationship to art making. Co-curated by Julian Hoeber and Alix Lambert, it includes four 1930s crime-scene photos from the collection of Luc Sante, who was interviewed for the article, “Scenes of the crime featured in ‘No Bingo for Felons’ at Arcadia gallery.”
The pictures are artless, the images of floors populated by threadbare carpets and the legs of cheap furniture were taken by police for reasons that are not entirely clear to Sante.
“They indicate something, to show some trace clue or possibly just give the dimensions—you know, the subject was standing here, the event happened there. This is the distance between those two points,” said Sante. “I have no text. There are very few indications on the backs of the prints, only enough to let me guess they are from Brooklyn in the 1930s. What these crimes consist of, I have no idea.”
What Sante finds compelling is the fact that very little is happening in them.
“There’s a chalk marking, detectives’ shoes are visible in two of them,” said Sante. “The point is not even those items, as the fact that crime is indicated by the absence of crime, as the fact that these pictures are of such staggering banality that they could not have been taken for any other purpose than to record something truly dreadful.”