this is the work i was writing about earlier that involved the prison jumpsuit. i made this in september of 05 for the InSight show at the Claremont Graduate College gallery (curated by Caroline Maxwell).

The work is a reflection on the detainees at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The United States is holding more than 500 foreign detainees at the prison. These men have been deprived of basic legal and civil rights, and reports of abuse, torture and grotesque mistreatment are rampant. Many, if not most, of the detainees have been there nearly four years, yet in all that time, only four have been accused of any crime. And even then, military prosecutors recently charged the military trials against those four have been rigged.

approximately 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. I was raised catholic, but stopped going to church somewhere after high school because i could not reconcile the teachings of Christ with church doctrine. From an early age i was already unable to understand the catholic attitudes towards women, homosexuality, minorities, sex and on and on. So i packed up the ideas and i left the vatican.

the piece questions our collective hypocrisy as a "christian nation". My own included... at the least i still pay taxes which pay for those prisons. It requires participation to be activated, something i am very interested in in my work. When the participator kneels, the image of thhe prisoners is activated on the wall in front of them (yay for me figuring out simple wiring!). The participators then find themselves in the same bodily gesture as the kneelers.

They also see the orange of the prison jumpsuit and perhaps realize that they are kneeling on the same jumpsuit. I used actual used prison jumpsuits to upholster the kneeler. in a final touch i used memory foam for the padding to achieve a muscle/flesh feel and of course leave the mark for a moment after the person stands back up.

I found out after the show that several people reported feeling "forced" to participate with this work, or were "forced" to feel guilty.

How very interesting.



pocket lining

monoprint from a couple weeks ago.

I have spent the last couple years with suits moving in and out and around my work. I often use suits to speak about the facades of men. this shell in which we hide and the cage in which we can be trapped. Usually the suits are empty, or at least the wearer is invisible, and sometimes hanging from some string that connects it to the great puppetmaster in the sky.

recently i had done a project where i had to flay an orange prison jumpsuit (i will post that later). I realized in the act of that i had to cut into the suit jacket. Sure enough, when i finally did i felt as if i was taking down a buffalo, cutting out the organs, and laying out the skin, sure to use every part. It's pretty much the one thing i got from 5th grade history was that story of the native americans slaughtering buffalo and using every part... which would, for some reason, always serve to make my mouth water.

So when i sliced into the lining, and moved into the space between the outer and inner walls of the jacket, i was presented with all kinds of other layers and things i had no idea about. Organs spilling out all over. mouth still watering however. and then i find these pockets.

suit pockets are like (insert cheesy reference here... snowflakes, fingerprints, bank accounts, whatever) in that no two are alike. So, i gutted all my suit jackets and now i have a collection of scalps and blood all over the studio floor. sticky...

since, i have been thinking about pocket lining, and lining one's pockets and blood for oil and hurricanes and halliburton... you know, the usual. and also The Shape of a Pocket (a book i am only here and there through), and so on and so forth... the pockets will be with me for awhile i can tell you that. there are plans....

i inked one up and rolled it through the press. and then another and another ... lots. and then i wanted to see what it would be like to put something in the pocket of course.... so i grabbed a national geographic and cut out this pig. mmmmmmbacon. yes yes, orwellian... obvious and whatnot, but it was just to test and that is what you see here.

sidenote... i am also working with getting the participator to absorb into the work... one technique being intense white, or intense black (ala malevich and kapoor). i like this about the pig shape. it pulls one right into that space. however, the pocket is so yummy even without the pig that it pulls one right in as well. we'll see...