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Reflection of my project

saturday's picture

[I'm transcribing the placard here, because I think it serves as reflection of what I aimed for in my final piece, and I have attached a PDF of my entire project to this post.]

My project is a small collection of blackout poetry, which takes pieces of existing prose and strikes out most of the words on the page, creating a poem with what's left behind. It's thematically centered around prisons, and is created using works from those fighting the system, working for the system, and those within the system itself. It touches upon the limits of reform and abolition, the struggles in enacting change, and the question of what comes after the prison-industrial complex in the event of its demise - though poetry, by it's nature, is inexact and very much open to interpretation. The structure of this piece (or lack thereof) can be used in a way to mimic and critique prison justice ideologies. What are the limitations of working within what's established? What can be gained from deletion? 

I came into this project wanting to find strands of reform in abolition, as a way to confirm my own beliefs about the nature of prison justice and the ‘right’ way to fix the horrible mess that is the PIC.

I didn’t accomplish any of that. I accomplished more.

I learned that art doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Rather than trying to find my message within the pages, I searched for what meaning already existed, and let it speak for itself. I learned that 90% of the work that goes into art doesn’t make it into the gallery, but remains within, inexplicable. Though even if I can’t say what I want to say, the process of trying to reflect can be enough to sort things out, even if only in my own head. I get to say "when", to decide what is enough.

I learned that letting go doesn’t mean giving up.


PDF icon Publication2.pdf1.58 MB