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  STATIC Collaboration with Frances Hawthorne, Ann Kluttz and Mike Wirth    
"Tired Justice"
A disorganized collection of feet and hands, which we cast in ashes and wax, occupies the margins of this constructed hallway. Under these objects, one can see ash silhouettes of feet walking in the opposite direction. Most of the casts were taken from the male inmates, but there are several casts of female feet, a child’s feet, and feet from males who have never been imprisoned. Perhaps these reference the victims of crime, or family members of victims or criminals, or simply any member of society who is, knowingly or not, affected by the issue of crime.

We chose to use ashes to emphasize the lack of more tangible substance. This idea of ‘lack’ suggests the loss of humanity endured by any person who has been literally or metaphorically imprisoned. While many people are justly incarcerated, there are those who are “impriso-
ned” by the resulting trauma of having been a victim of crime, by the fear of crime, or even by the dehumanization that accompanies so many other individual and societal aspects of criminal behavior. The use of ashes may also suggest the remnants of lives left behind, of value systems/illusions/ dreams collapsing, or of a future reduced to memories.

The industrial flooring is separated into a clean, shiny center path for the visitor to walk, and dirty margins filled with both solid and exceptionally fragile life casts. In a jail setting, prisoners must walk on the extreme right hand side of the hallways, single file, looking for-ward, and must not speak unless spoken to. We perceived the center of the hallway to be the locus of power, and thus place the viewer in a self-conscious, centralized position of authority. We hope that this space, surrounded by objects which have touched the bodies of the “untouchables”, will evoke reflection on the very conflicting subject of what it means to be imperfectly human.


© Malena Bergmann 2009