In a shallow windowed storefront in London’s Piccadilly Circus underground station, a whirl of clothes are flying in a continuous loop behind a dressing screen, as if an unseen cartoon character were rampaging through a wardrobe. Painted on each of the screen’s five panels are neo-classical arrangements decorated with ribbons, palm fronds, and other seemingly incongruous items: American Express cards, a matchbook from the five-star Marrakech hotel La Mamounia, the New York County Supreme Court building. Look closely at the clothes flapping through the spotlight and you might notice that one of them is a snakeskin-print dress, another a standard-issue khaki prison-uniform shirt.
Four Courtroom Outfits of Anna Delvey, a tribute to the so-called SoHo Grifter, real name Anna Sorokin (a Russian woman who scammed friends and hotels and a bank out of tens of thousands of dollars, pretending to be a German heiress), by the 30-year-old American artist Cynthia Talmadge, is currently on view at Soft Opening, an experimental gallery space that has shown artwork in the Underground station since last year. The kinetic installation, which shares a crowded corridor with a watch-repair shop and a locksmith, paints a picture of how life’s most vulnerable and private moments become public when you’re infamous, doubly so when you’re being processed through the bizarre theater that is the American judicial system.