Exhibition view, Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague 2011
Exhibition view, Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague 2011
Exhibition view, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, 2015
Exhibition view, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, 2015
1 /

SOUNDTRACK (STATEMENTS OF GUILT) takes the archival material of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague as its starting point. The work is based on twenty confessions of guilt disclosed at the ICTY by 2011.
In SOUNDTRACK (STATEMENTS OF GUILT) Benjocki adapted and worked with tools for archiving at the ICTY - such as recording, transcription and translation - in order to write music. Each of the twenty statements was written and read before the court. Benjocki brings forward the mechanism of  this juridical model by breaking down the original archival recordings of voices and background noise into standalone layers of tone, rhythm and melody- the statements of guilt were transcribed from written and spoken word into composed and performed music.

The statement of guilt presents an opportunity for previously unknown information to be disclosed: a formal statement made by or on behalf of a defendant stating guilt in response to a charge. 

The existence of this juridical construction stands in part to support the technical and financial constraints of the court, as the last entry published to the ICTY website indicates (entry on July 14 2015): 

“...guilty pleas are seen as an important time and resource-saving tool which is particularly important given the financial and temporal constraints the Tribunal works under. Guilty pleas are also considered an invaluable litigation tool, as a plea agreement may involve the accused testifying against higher-ranking individuals, and can thereby help secure convictions against the most serious perpetrators. Also, guilty pleas may also spare witnesses from having to undergo the sometimes stressful experience of testifying in court. A guilty plea is usually considered by a Chamber as a mitigating circumstance leading to a reduction in the sentence a convicted person would otherwise have received.”

SOUNDTRACK (STATEMENTS OF GUILT) addresses the reciprocal alienation of voice and body from words and their context, and their complex relationship to how the  trauma experienced in the countries of former Yugoslavia and the Netherlands is articulated.

SOUNDTRACK (STATEMENTS OF GUILT) was performed by pianist Leo Svirsky