Legitimately Incongruous: Exploring Artistic and Legal Interplays in A Game of War (2021)

  • Sixtine Bérard (Ghent University)


This essay examines the filmed mock trial A Game of War (2021) by TWIIID, a Flemish legal soundboard for the arts, and its contribution to the discourse on appropriation art and the parody exception in copyright law. By focusing on the case of the (mock) trial between Samson Kambalu and Gianfranco Sanguinetti, the article delves into the intricate legal and artistic aspects within this specific context. While not comprehensive of the entire contemporary discourse on copyright and appropriation art, this case serves as a microcosm for examining and understanding major themes and issues. The essay argues that A Game of War functions as both a re-enactment and pre-enactment, acknowledging the limitations of conventional jurisdiction while closely adhering to established legal precedents. In doing so, the film highlights the temporal fluidity of p(re)enactments and the dynamic nature of temporality in law and performance. The explicit intertwining of past, present, and future emerges as a shared characteristic of both (p)re-enactments like A Game of War and court trials, wherein the past is reconstructed and potential futures are envisioned within the ‘now’ of the trial. Furthermore, by employing artistic methodologies such as p(re)enactments to enrich the imaginative capacities of the legal realm in the context of appropriation art and copyright issues, A Game of War compellingly expresses the potential for art and law to mutually inform and enhance one another. Consequently, the film opens new avenues for dialogue and fosters a deeper understanding of the intricate interplay between artistic expression and the complex web of legal frameworks.

Keywords: (p)re-enactment mock trial, appropriation art, copyright law, (p)re-enactment, mock trial

How to Cite:

Bérard, S., (2023) “Legitimately Incongruous: Exploring Artistic and Legal Interplays in A Game of War (2021)”, Documenta 41(2): 5, 113-137. doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
20 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed