All the pictures on my page of this group project are taken by myself.
Through this page themed “prison poetry”, I am trying to visualize what I feel when I hear the terms “prisoners”, “dehumanization”, “freedom”, “love”, “arts”, etc. etc… from my own lens and my selection of several poems written by prisoners from different places at different time. As I open the page with my favorite quote from a poem, “I'm not defined by the lenses other people see through […] my words set me free”, the central messages and my major goals here are giving the viewers the most possible degrees of freedom in their own interpretations of my artwork, and reminding them that prisoners are as humans as we are and we all have the freedom in expressing our humanity in different ways. Poetry as an art form is especially beneficial for people to find inner peace, reflect on the world out there (as the title of my page), and reflect on themselves.
Poetry also links to silence.
This is one of my favorite songs I would listen to when I need to immerse myself in deep thoughts, complicated sentiments, or simply observing my surroundings in a blank stage. It feels quieting, roaring, narrating, sad, satisfied, full, blank… …all the possibilities that a human can feel and the impossibilities to frame. The whole song is 6:18 long with only a few lines of lyrics appearing twice at 2:26 and 4:10,
“In the longest of nights
Stir him at your breast
In silence - row him, row him
On the bleakest of morns
He'll break at your rocks
And weeping - row row”
Intentionally not clarifying everything on this page based on my definition of what an artwork should be like, I hope that the viewers can really focus back on themselves. For more clarification of what I mean by that, I want to quote psychologists Lazarus and Folkman that in the presence of ambiguity, “person factors shape the understanding of the situation, thereby making the interpretation of the situation more a function of the person than of the objective stimulus”. I hope this quote both speaks to the consciousness and hopes of prisoners, and to the experience of the viewers of my project.
The background picture is an arch of a castle on a hill. At the top of the page only the sky can be seen through it, but if the viewer scrolls down and finishes reading this page, a route to that sky will eventually show.
The grapefruit is metaphorical. At least for me.