South West England

Indications of Guilt, Pt 1: Maud Craigie

Indications of Guilt, Pt 1 is an exploration in to the expectations and conductivity of Interrogation by American law enforcement, and how fictional representations of this through popular culture can impact how law enforcement choose to act. Maud Craigie works with Film, Performance, and Installation, and for this piece in particular a variety of items that were gathered as supporting material for her research during her time in America. These items include a dummy file, a one-way mirror and her certificate for Advanced Interrogation Training. Her work uses documentary techniques to fully explore how the narratives familiar with fictional situations can be a part of the everyday.

Upon entering the space, you are guided along the pathway by the tall surrounding walls toward a cinema-esque dark space, setup in a way that is imperative for you to watch the projected documentary/video piece. The 53 minute film follows Craigie’s 2017 travels to America, where she set out to train in psychological interrogation, a process used frequently throughout American law enforcement. It was this training that provided the material for her work, the exposure of the reality behind the rising false confession rates sweeping through in recent years. Craigie uses the raw undercover footage from her experiences to present the opinions andexperiences of multiple individuals met throughout her research, one being of a female police officer, which really struck me.

Whilst hearing the other officers discuss between themselves about the dreadful tactics and mind games they use for confessions, the lady is very smiley, and seemingly kind. She talks about how she would get the suspects a McDonalds, make them feel as if they could trust her, and then approach the questioning in such a way that encouraged a confession. At first glance you think to yourself, well, she seems nice! Trustworthy, considerate. But the reality is that she is still encouraging and manipulating what could be a false confession, just like the others. Once you have left the space, you realise that whilst being led to believe that this lady is different, kind and genuine, you have just been manipulated in just the same way an innocent person could be.It is these techniques that have led this type of interrogation into facing scrutiny from the public for years, and yet you just don’t notice how easy it is to fall for it until it’s too late.

The work’s combination of staged and documentary methods aim to expose the irony of psychological interrogation, and how it can be used to encourage lies, when actively seeking the truth.

Indications of Guilt, Pt 1 is open from the 17th May 2021 to the 7th August 2021.