Whether in democracy or courtly monarchy the place of the sovereign is an "empty place", an irrational cipher on which the rational, positivist law is based. Using the framework of Lacan's four discourses, and drawing on modern and contemporary art to show how these various approaches are embodied, Watt examines the use of images as the veiling over of the "empty" master signifier of our laws.
Dr Oliver Watts is a lecturer in Theoretical Enquiry at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University. He is an art historian and jurist and works on the nexus of art and law. He has recently published 'Warhol's Thirteen Most Wanted Men: Public Art and the Scandal of the World's Fair Pavilion 1964,' in Transparency, Power and Control, and has an upcoming chapter 'Daumier and the Democratic Effigy' in Law Culture and Visual Studies, edited by Richard Sherwin and Anne Wagner.