ALWAYS ONE STEP AHEAD (Broken Promises) - 2018
In 2016, The New Yorker magazine published a piece summarizing the artists past and delving into the law enforcement’s present-day infatuation with them. In the article, one of the detectives who worked on their case admits that even over 5 years after the artists had served their jail time and left the United States, he couldn’t control the urge to follow their every move from afar. He recounts in detail how he continues to stalk them over the internet, checking their website and sending emails to government officials in countries they may have visited. Comparing himself to a character in a comic book, he describes how the artists are “always one step ahead” of him. The article concludes with the detective’s promise to be “waiting with handcuffs and leg shackles to get Mr. Harper and bring him back” after the conclusion of the artist’s prison sentence in Australia.
The handcuffs and shackles laser-etched with quotes from the police detective are a symbol of this broken vow and a statement on the compulsion and abuses of power that permeate the US justice system. It’s easy to see this as an isolated incident of one obsessive detective, but it begs the greater question how far police are permitted to go to satisfy their own individual desires while using government resources and under the guise of “serving and protecting”? Does a line exist between professional interest and personal obsession?
4 sets of handcuffs, 1 set of transport restraints, article from The New Yorker Magazine.
Exhibited at Moniker International Art Fair 2018 in London, England.