Curated Artist Registry

The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online catalog of digital images documenting the work of artists who are not affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City. Each submission is reviewed by our curatorial staff; in order to be considered for the registry, one must submit work digitally via this website.

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Providence RI US
Updated: 2017-03-06 16:50:32

STATEMENT OF WORK

This series of quilts using aerial views of prisons questions our culture of surveillance and incarceration. A view of Guantanamo Prison on WikiLeaks was the genesis for this project; its quaint cottage-like form when seen from above belies the prison’s wrenching history. Traditional quilt patterns have much in common with shapes found in prison design; they are typically symmetrical with blocks of repeating geometric shapes that radiate outward from a central axis. Many evoke Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon, which was conceived as a central space from which a watcher could observe prisoners without being seen, to keep the incarcerated under a constant state of perceived surveillance and instill a sense of paranoia and behavior regulation. Quilts immediately bring to mind ideas of home, comfort, and security, of communities and their histories, of labor and women’s work. They indicate a protected space. As heirlooms they carry narratives that are otherwise forgotten. Bringing these two seemingly polarized forms together allows me highlight the costs born by societies deeply invested in incarceration.




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