In traditional crime literature, the cordoned-off crime scene functions as a spatialized representation, fixing the now-absent crime in preparation for a subsequent interpretative process. This article questions such spatial stasis as well as the pretension of the crime scene to define and contain criminal traces, arguing that Roberto Bolaño's and Teresa Margolles's works point, rather, to the potentiality of criminal space to project itself onto other locations. Their diffuse and globalized crime scenes have structural similarities with what Giorgio Agamben terms generalized spaces of exception, where (im)potentiality and actuality merge, where everything, however unthinkable, can be realized. This article focuses on several of Margolles's crime-scene installations and two of Bolaño's works: the essay “Los personajes fatales” and “La parte de Amalfitano” from 2666.

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