Habeas Corpus: the brief
An installation and performance by Ray Langenbach & David A.R. Ross, Mänttä Art Festival
Habeas Corpus: the brief
Artists David A.R. Ross and Ray Langenbach are collaborating on an installation and performance at this year’s Mänttä Art Festival. 10 video monitors display films explaining the details of a series of legal cases on child trafficking. Bound copies of the legal brief are on a table that was submitted recently to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Ross will periodically invite members of the public into the space where he will relate his extraordinary story of his pending application for asylum in Finland from the State of Maryland in the United States.
In 1970-80’s, hundreds and perhaps thousands of European and Russian children were transported to Helsinki from Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany. They were held here, awaiting false documents and then flown to New York. They then were disbursed from there to other cities. In 2006, Austrian, Belgian, and USA Police identified this same child trafficking ring continuing operations using the Maryland Courthouse as a platform. Ross worked on this case as a bank examiner/auditor for many years and then was later Court-appointed as an attorney to the case. The child trafficking case was part of a much larger bank conspiracy involving billions of dollars and a large number of important US government officials.
the theft and asylum
In 2008, when returning home after receiving material evidence concerning the direct participation of the Maryland judiciary in the conspiracy behind the child trafficking case, Ross was struck by a vehicle and the material evidence was removed from his car, thereby preventing him from placing the evidence on the following business day in court. As a result of the vehicular strike, Ross became permanently disabled and now walks with a medically certified Newfoundland Service-Dog to prevent falls. This was a common pattern with four other persons having died just prior to providing testimony on the case. Those documents were later found in the possession of several of the key defendants.
Ross fled the United States after refusing a bribe and acts of extortion to conceal the existence of child trafficking and direct threats to his freedom, property and physical safety. Since free-speech is protected under Finnish law, Ross is able to tell his story here.
This installation-performance presents part of the story of Dr. Ross’ asylum application. As a performative demonstration of the plea for Humanitarian Protection that brought Ross to Finland 16 months ago in November 2013, this exhibition is both a symbolic platform and utilitarian device. It has the effect of redefining conventional notions of performance art, the role of the artist and the museum itself. Collapsing the fourth wall between the art and real-lives, the installation raises questions of representation, belief, certainty, epistemology and ontology. It opens to our reflection the economies of life, law, international finance, international relations and artistic production.
The missing or ‘delivered’ bodies (Habeas Corpus) –specifically in this case the bodies of children and Ross’ body and those of other abjected communities– are at extreme risk. Questions concerning our epistemologies –how do we know that we know– rise to the surface as we grapple with the complexities and nuances of this case. Our fundamental assumptions concerning certainty and proof as the foundation of justice become the first victims, because, according to Ross’ testimony, it is the court, the judges, clerks and law enforcement agencies that are the traffickers. This installation asks whether art can provide a space for inquiry into the corruption of our fundamental institutions. In an environment rife with disinformation, our most cherished social and ethical beliefs and reliance on our institutions require examination. This exhibition opens the legal establishment in the United States and Finland, and perceived truth itself, to scrutiny. David Ross ross | nationalpaws ! com +358-466406344 Ray Langenbach <raylangenbach | me ! com> +358-4066618302
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