Below our Gessi Octopus light sign hangs a stopwatch. It shows how long Brian Keller - formerly known as "Carlos" - has been in custody without a final sentence. As of Sept. 28, 2017, Brian has served all of his original prison sentence for attempted aggravated assault. But Brian's path, instead of freedom, led to the most restrictive and harsh detention regime Switzerland had seen in a long time. The reason for this are offenses that Brian is accused of having committed while in prison, when he resisted the conditions of his imprisonment. Conditions of detention which were later sharply criticized and condemned by the UN, the Federal Court and the National Anti-Torture Commission. Racist attacks, physical abuse and more than three and a half years of isolation constitute a case of torture according to various experts.
On 12.11.2022 this stopwatch was installed in the public, because exactly one year before, on 12.11.2021, the federal court last proved Brian right: The harsh detention conditions in which Brian lived must be taken into account in the judgement. But in the meantime, the case against Brian has dragged on for more than five years. Five years that Brian has spent behind bars with no prospect of release anytime soon. Together with Brian, the art project #BigDreams asks questions about the meaning of human rights and the principles of the rule of law in these trials. The stopwatch will always remain visible in public as an art installation to draw attention to this case and the abuses associated with it. The clock is ticking.
This is an initiative of #BigDreams.
#BigDreams is a diverse collective of artists, activists and scholars that has been working on Brian's case since 2020 and has been formed specifically for this purpose. Brian himself is a member of #BigDreams, the formats were conceptualized together with him and were implemented together as far as possible. The initiators Daniel Riniker and Sabina Aeschlimann visit Brian weekly in prison and work with him on the project.
#BigDreams is also the name of the collective art project about human rights, media criticism and structural racism. The project operates at the intersection of art, politics and activism. Artistic methods are used in an attempt to adopt a new perspective.
|Concept and Implementation Stopwatch||Eva Willenegger and Oliver Stark|