This debate on the effects of the penal system was spearheaded by Rotterdam legal scholar and abolitionist Louk Hulsman. He argued that penal law and incarceration often fuel rather than solve societal problems. With functional criticism and concrete propositions he strived to make a society without a punitive government imaginable. With two video installations, both developed in collaboration with people with immediate experience, Glas reignites a discussion that was actively forgotten. 

Starting points for both works are two simultaneous events. In June 1986, Hulsman retired from the Erasmus University with his book ‘Farewell to Criminal Law’, a plea for the abolition of the current justice system. In the same month, architect Carel Weeber had his students build a 1:1 test model of a prison cell. While Hulsman’s plea will prove to be the swan song of Dutch penal abolitionism, Weeber’s vision will become trendsetting for Dutch prison design. 

Glas has questioned various aspects of the justice system throughout his artistic practice. Previously, he looked into asylum procedures, the use of biometrics for identification, and the employment of algorithms for predicting criminal behaviour, examining the implicit violence such state instruments entail. He translates his research into video installations in which opposing perspectives and interests perturb each other. 

The curator of this exhibition is Anke Bangma.

On all Fridays between 11 March and 21 April visit this exhibition free of charge. TENT is open on Fridays between 11:00 – 21:00.

Events with this show