A composite of sound recordings from inside and outside the Cook County Jail, as well as a video pan of the 25’ jail wall examine the blurry line between the inside and outside of the largest single-site jail in the country. Situated within a working class immigrant neighborhood in Chicago and the artists’ native community, Gaspar has been recording the social behaviors and informal architectures surrounding a place of incarceration to make visible the politics of location. In this piece, she juxtaposes the acoustics of the interior life of detention alongside a local summer carnival that takes place outside the jail wall every year. The artist negotiates the psychological experience of place and the effects of mass incarceration. It includes an excerpt from a series of personal conversations and interviews with Adolfo Davis by his collaborator, Elyse Blennerhassett. Convicted at the age of fourteen, Davis is currently serving a mandatory life sentence.
Created with the support of Experimental Sound Studio’s 2015 Artist Residency Program, which was made possible by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Friday, August 26, 2016, 6-9pm
08.27 – 09.11.16
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About the Artist
Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist negotiating the politics of location and geography through installation, sculpture, sound, and performance. Gaspar is the founder of large-scale art projects City As Site (2010) and The 96 Acres Project (2012-Present), which examines the impact of incarceration through artistic interventions at the Cook County Jail located in her native community in Chicago. Gaspar’s work has been featured at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, NY; Artspace, New Haven, CT; African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA; and the Alpineum Produzentengalerie in Luzern, Switzerland. Gaspar is the recipient of a Creative Capital Award, a Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant, a Robert Rauschenberg Artist As Activist Fellowship, and a Sor Juana Women of Achievement Award in Art and Activism from the National Museum of Mexican Art. She recently completed a residency at Project Row Houses in Houston, TX. She is an Assistant at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gaspar holds an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.