break (vista)

something in me is dying it is brilliant
and the thing is who i used to be it is
walking beside me wa
ribbon adorning broken
necks kiss me on my broken
back kiss me on my broken
body collapse into water

into demolished homes into fire
into bulldozed girls into air into thought
into body into wall collapsing onto itself

live life off the wall my people live life off the wall

did i say something i meant everything

--Suheir Hammad

The title of the exhibit emerges from Palestinian American writer, Suheir Hammad’s poem, break (vista), which contemplates the ways in which walls are structures of oppression around the world. Into Body Into Wall is a collaboration between the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, The 96 Acres Project and artist Maria Gaspar and uses the wall of Cook County Jail to look at architectures of power and incarceration. The project investigates the wall as a social, political, psychological and physical frame, imagines and reflects on new alternatives, and grapples with personal stories from both sides of the wall.

The 96 Acres Project
96 Acres (2012-Present) is a series of community-engaged, site-responsive art projects that involve community stakeholders’ ideas about social and restorative justice issues, and that examine the impact of incarceration at the Cook County Jail on Chicago’s West Side. 96 Acres uses multi-disciplinary practices to explore the social and political implications of incarceration on communities of color. Through creative processes and coalition building, 96 Acres aims to generate alternative narratives reflecting on power and responsibility by presenting insightful and informed collective responses for the transformation of a space that occupies 96 acres, but has a much larger reaching outcome.

A series of Creative Resistance Workshops were offered in conjunction with this exhibition in November 2015.