2019 Proposal Model
The piece is a replica of a cell at Eastern State Penitentiary rendered in acrylic mirror. It’s shape echoes the iconic cell’s sloped, vaulted ceiling (see image #1). It is smaller than an actual cell, and would fit without touching the walls or ceiling. It consists of 4 walls, a doorway, ceiling and skylights. It is raised off the ground to allow drainage and light. The interior is lined with acrylic mirror, screwed onto the frame. The back of the mirror is exposed. A thinner grade is used on the ceiling to easily achieve the arch of the vault. The construction is simple and merely structural.
Chamber was born from Eastern State Penitentiary's revolutionary approach that expected inmates to reflect upon themselves.
To foster a conversation on identity, the piece extends that invitation to visitors. It encourages physical interaction as well as social media engagement. Through simple instructions1 posted at the entrance, visitors are asked to say something about themselves that reflects their identity (see image #2). White wax pencils are provided to allow them to write and draw directly onto the acrylic mirror. It is also suggested that they post any photographs they take using a specific hashtag.
In the age of selfies the work collectively ponders self portraits. As a biographical writer, bodybuilder and artist, I am drawn to self as subject matter. My work addresses identity, specifically the effects of life changing events on self perception. Given the opportunity, will visitors choose to offer a profound insight into themselves or would it be a projection of their desires?