One of the Most Publicized Criminal Trials in American History
This exhibit will focus on the trial of Orenthal James Simpson, an American actor, broadcaster, Heisman trophy winner and NFL Hall of Famer charged with two counts of murder for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in June 1994.
The exhibit will examine how the trial and how different elements of the story are depicted within three separate 'postcards' collected within this archive. The cards are not traditional postcards--they are not written on, have no date, address, publishing information, stamps, dividers, or anything typically attributed to a normal postcard. In fact, it would be difficult to write on these cards at all, considering that they are each split up into six perforated sections, with each section containing an image related to either the highly publicized trial or the complicated Simpson/Brown story. Interestingly, the circular perforations on the cards are also reminiscent of pogs or milk caps, a popular 90's children's game.
This leads us to the invariable question of why images of this intensely serious trial ended up on a children's game. It also prods us to consider the implications of the trial and how it functioned as major cultural event in its time, popular enough to be printed in a series of cards and shared among the public. The last question prompted by this small collection of cards is how the individual images selected shape the representation of the trial, both rhetorically with the images chosen (and simultaneously not chosen) to be on the cards and historically as a piece of work that is looked at and analyzed over 20 years after the event.
Through this exhibit I hope to consider these questions and document a new perspective of the trial based on the three cards in the archive collection.
Sabrina Debrard, 2016