Solitary

Solitary

This replica solitary confinement cell called attention to the inhumane conditions in which detainees of Canada’s “War on Terror” are held. Viewers were invited to leave words of support on the walls and to sign pledges to watch (attend a court date), listen (hear a family member of a prisoner speak), or visit (sit with a detainee). Those that did left with buttons to remind them of their commitment.

Solitary — 4'x8' cell
The cell is 4' x 8'. The prayer mat faces the toilet, which doubles as a sink.
Solitary — Exterior of the cell
Visitors first saw the posters on the exterior, not realizing it was a prison cell.
Solitary — Signing pledges to support detainees
After spending some time inside the cell, people were invited to sign pledges to support the detainees.
Solitary — Leaving messages of solidarity
Leaving messages of solidarity
Solitary — Leaving messages of solidarity
Leaving messages of solidarity
Solitary — Surveillance camera
Surveillance camera

Originally conceived as a social justice art piece, the installation was eventually adopted by the Presumption of Innocence Project to use in press conferences critiquing Canada's treatment of detainees and the media hysteria around "homegrown terrorists."

In collaboration with Aylwin Lo.