Forever Live: The Case of K. Gun

François Bucher

2006 | 00:12:35 | Colombia / Germany / United Kingdom | French | Color | Mono | 4:3 | DV video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: History, Installation, Language, Literature, Middle East, Politics

This installation is based on the re-enactment of Franz Kafka’s allegory "Before the Law", interpreted live over a telephone line by Katharine Gun. Gun was a translator (specializing in Chinese to English translations), working with the British secret service, who chose to leak information compromising the U.S. and U.K. governments in their push for a U.N. resolution for the invasion of Iraq. Gun disclosed their plans to illegally wiretap the delegations of the Security Council holding the balance of power at the U.N.  She was acquitted when it became clear to the government of the U.K. that her court case would become a trial on the war’s legality.  At the time of Bucher’s recording, Kafka’s text was completely new to Gun, as she translated the allegory live from Chinese to English.

In 2005 Bucher met Katharine Gun in her hometown in Cheltenham, England. They agreed to collaborate on a project that entailed remobilizing her image within the parameters of a different discourse; one that would steal her image from the trivializations of media terminology, such as “whistle blower” and reconnect her action to a more significant dimension.  This is the first part of that project.

Prizes + Awards

2nd Prize, Fair Play, Berlin


Bard College, Center for Cultural Studies
New York, NY