City of Shadows: Inner-city crime & mayhem 1912 -1948 is currently on show at the Justice and Police Museum. The exhibition displays historic forensic police photographs accompanied with meticulously researched stories that shed light on the shadowy underworld of Sydney between the wars. But is that all these photographs have to tell us?
Penguin Plays Rough has thrown a slew of creative writers and wordsmiths on the case, to reinterpret and reimagine the mystery and suspense oozing from these historic pictures. Over the course of two events, creatives including comedian Nick Sun, crime writer PM Newton, magazine-maker Sam Cooney, fiction writer Laura Jean McKay, playwright Hilary Bell, performance-maker Nat Randall, non-fiction writer Elmo Keep, and fiction writers Felicity Castagna and Jack Vening have presented and embellished scenarios and suspects, to tell stories based on crime scene photographs and mug shots from the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive.
Now it's time for the series' third and final event, where artists from We Do Not Unhappen will bring together the scenarios and suspects to play out the crimes in various media throughout the museum. You'll be able to wander through the historic building's holding cells, police station and courtrooms, discovering performances and installations at every turn.
Penguin Plays Rough at City of Shadows will be like CSI on opium. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Five Scenes, 20 September 2013 - 6pm
Five Suspects, 22 November 2013 - 6pm
Five Crimes, 17 January 2014 - 6pm