Plenge Jakobsen was inspired by J'Accuse, a newspaper expose of racially motivated corruption in the French government. No other newspaper article had provoked such public debate and controversy or had such an impact on law, justice and society. Written in 1898 by French novelist Emile Zola in defence of Captain Alfred Drefus, the article led to the author being tried for criminal libel, his financial ruin and some say even his untimely death. J'Accuse was an open letter to the French President on behalf of Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery officer in the French army who had been convicted of treason. Zola's letter exposed Dreyfus's trial as an anti-Semitic cover-up in which many high ranking French officials were implicated. For his SLG show Plenge Jakobsen drew parallels between Zola's letter and the current climate of fear and suspicion generated in an environment of political spin. Visitors took on the role of the accusers in a bizarre scenario riddled with puns, exploring the impossibility of revealing underlying truths in the face of media interpretation and the power of the establishment.
ABOUT HENRIK PLENGE JAKOBSEN Henrik Plenge Jakonsen (b. Copenhagen, Denmark, 1967) is a conceptual artist who works in a variety of media from sculpture and installation art to performance and public intervention. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art from 1987-94 and lives in Copenhagen. Recent solo exhibitions have included Eggjastokkur at NoPlace, Oslo in 2011; Mainframe at Kunstverein für Die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf in 2010; Manhattan Engineering District, FRAC Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France in 2007 and Circus Portikus, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 2003.