Video documentation by Elisabeth Wren Eckman

Corporeal Prison (curatorial and collaborative project)

Wood, steel, glass, mirrors, linen, embroidered fabric, emergency blankets, water, sand, PVC, 5-channel soundscape.

Co-curated with Amayi Nona Morales 

Artists: Julia Fairbrother, Giuliana Funkhouser, Minjun Kim, Nivedita Madigubba, Amayi Nona Morales, Bobby Singer, Shannon Sperling

Corporeal Prison relies on the architectural structures of the Diego Rivera Gallery – such as its window and ceiling beams – to highlight this environment as a shelter for communal activities. Of particular interest is architecture’s function in compartmentalization and delineation of borders between different people. Using the circular form of the oculus illuminating the gallery as a starting point, the discourse of corporeality is extended to architecture. Light streaming through the gallery and glasses of water used in the installation represent natural resources and bodies within contested environments enveloping the USA. Personal borders, both tangible and intangible are signified by a viewer’s movement and their ability/inability to step over the sand border encircling the installation. 

Corporeal Prison has helped us process issues surrounding borders and boundaries through the experience of collective art making. We seven artists produced a single installation by combining mediums and techniques from our individual practices. This collaborative effort began with conversations about life as consumers, our relationships with US political and societal borders and the function of boundaries within these contexts. Particular attention was paid to our self-regulating behaviours, as well as implicating ourselves with respect to the maintenance of present-day border structures. Who benefits from these borders? What keeps us from extending our empathy across boundaries drawn? How do psychological borders manifest within public spheres?