Artwork: WHERE-HOUSE

Where-House” contains many of the same ideas of “Vestibules and Alleys”, but the elements contained within are both contemporary examples of urban architecture created under the guise of safety and shelter. As with “Vestibules” the composition is split in two. The top of the piece contains an image of what is left of the Cabrini Green housing project towers in Chicago that are finally being replaced with actually homes. The towers for decades were synonymous with poverty, and violence, and the often held as the worst example of public housing. As with most housing projects in the United States, phrases such as home, living, and community were never part of the functioning vocabulary of the structure. It is what some cultural geographers refer to as “urbanacide.” Now the towers are finally giving way to mixed income housing. Did the powers- that- be finally learn that housing people in such a manner not only takes a toll on the residents in the immediate vicinity, but also the inhabitants of the city at-large? But as these projects are being eliminated, new types of buildings are being erected in the name of security. One in particular is called the “Metropolitan Detention Center. The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) is a nine-story Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility located in Brooklyn, New York. During the first week after September 11, 2001, a portion of the Special Housing Unit (SHU) of the ninth floor of the MDC was converted into the Administrative Maximum (ADMAX) unit to house “High Interest” September 11 detainees. The FBI classified “High Interest” detainees as individuals with “the greatest potential to be linked to” to the September 11 attacks. The inhabitants of this facility have little to no contact with the outside world, including legal representation or family. Just like the residents of the housing projects that are supposed to be living, the inmates of the MDC have little to do with due process. The bottom half of the composition is a cross section of the MDC, provided by one of the detainees. The two buildings are connected by the text “Flights of blank stares, opaque windows…perfect conditions for fading away.” This text describes not only the physical similarities of each building, but also their functions.

Where-House, 2009. Dry pigment and permanent marker on paper. “

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