robert beck in ‘forensics: the anatomy of crime’ at wellcome collection, london

26 February 2015
'Forensics: the anatomy of crime' explores the history, science and art of forensic medicine. It travels from crime scene to courtroom, across centuries and continents, exploring the specialisms of those involved in the delicate processes of collecting, analysing and presenting medical evidence. It draws out the stories of victims, suspects and investigators of violent crimes, and our enduring cultural fascination with death and detection.

The exhibition will include a work by American artist Robert Beck, born in Baltimore, MD, USA. He now lives and works in New York City and far west Texas. The featured work, an image of residual gunpowder created by shooting a sketch pad with a shotgun, is titled '6/20/02 - Shot no.2' 2005. In 2007, to mark a development in his artistic practice, Beck undertook a change in his surname by a single vowel to Robert Buck.

The exhibition contains original evidence, archival material, photographic documentation, film footage, forensic instruments and specimens, and is rich with artworks offering both unsettling and intimate responses to traumatic events. Challenging familiar views of forensic medicine shaped by fictions that came out of the sensational reporting of late Victorian murder cases and popular crime dramas, ‘Forensics' highlights the complex entwining of law and medicine, and the scientific methods it calls upon and creates.

A wide programme of events will accompany the exhibition and a publication of the same name, by crime writer Val McDermid is available (see below).

The exhibition runs from 26 February until 21 June 2015.

Robert Beck at Wellcome Collection.