Thick Skin, a lawful film written and directed by Peter Rush

What then would it take for the eye of law, beyond pretence and all forgetting, to recognise pain?

It is possible that even the dimmed eyes of judges can be persuaded to jump, their muted voices to stutter, their hands to wander, their skin to quiver. It is possible that law could be thought around the intimacy of its gestures. Such gestures provide the measure of judgment, of relating the eye to the hand that holds the rule and of handing down the word of law to those below. It is the matter of swords and scales and blindfolds.

This film explores an aesthetics of law and its inhabitants through the public art sites of The Another View Walking Trail that was installed in the 1990s in the City of Melbourne. In a slow-moving filmic recitation, each of the sites focus our attention on the place-making and counter-memory of law and governance. What then would it take for the eye of law, beyond pretence and all forgetting, to recognise pain? What would it mean to investigate the manners in and by which proximate and suffering others have dwelt and do dwell in law?

Peter D Rush, writer and director of Thick Skin, is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne

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