Who doesn’t want to bring to justice those bankers and financiers who endangered, harmed or perverted the financial stability in the world? James Beckett’s Voodoo Justice for People of Finance consists of a portrait gallery –drawn in Indian ink–of 38 CEO’s of banks and financial institutions, and major players in global finance: chairpersons and executives of institutions such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, from Bernie Madoff, the former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market,
now convicted to 150 years imprisonment, to Christine Lagarde, the present managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Protagonists of reckless financial manoeuvres and often key figures
in inducing the crisis of 2008, they become the subjects of a metaphorical exorcism of corruption and evil. Guided by a logic halfway between
evidence and imagination, Beckett investigated the details of their early lives –from the hospitals in which they were born to the places of their
childhood and adolescence– to shed light on the social context in which they grew up. The portraits are presented in ritualistic arrangements together with rocks supposedly taken from the individuals’ places of birth. These form modest, but at the same time potentially harmful, instruments that convey a sense of unease to the installation. Rendered in an almost folk art style that is at once voyeuristic and sinister, Beckett’s drawings and objects delve the viewer into a world of provincial tranquillity and sinister sub-text. The leaders of the financial world,
engaged in crucial and complicated operations that determine the lives of millions of people (as in the case of the restructuring of the Greek sovereign debt), are thus deprived of their almighty aura and
presented as fallen idols or cultic fetishes.