about the exhibition
New Works 08.1
Regina José Galindo
Guatemala City, Guatemala
March 13–May 11, 2008about the artist
Regina José Galindo’s performances and poetry address social injustice, gender discrimination, and racism, focusing mainly on the governmental atrocities of the Guatemalan dictatorship. Through the process of physical interrogation, the artist effaces individuality, thus representing a collective body—one that personifies social turmoil.
Regina José Galindo was born in Guatemala in 1974. She currently lives and works in Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala. She has exhibited and performed at numerous locations including Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Netherlands (2008); prometeogallery, Milan, Italy (2007, 05); Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporánea, Trento, Italy (2006); and Ciudad de Guatemala (2003). Her group exhibitions include Arte ≠ Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960-2000, El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY (2008); Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Spain (2007); Venice-Istanbul, Istanbul Modern, Turkey (2006); Into Me / Out of Me, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, traveled to Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2006-07); and Venice Biennale, Italy (2001, 05).
about the project
“This is the fascinating thing about prisons. The power neither conceals itself nor is masked, it shows as ferocious tyranny in the most minimal details.” —Michel Foucault
The private prison industry in the United States has experienced exponential growth in recent years. The market began to grow in the 1980s under the Reagan-Bush administrations, developed throughout the 1990s, and today flourishes due to antiterrorism measures and the hardening of immigration laws. Many organizations for human, political, and social rights have denounced private prisons, stating that they consider these facilities a new form of human exploitation.
Currently in Texas, a border state, there are more than forty private prisons. One singular case is the T. Don Hutto “Family Detention Center,” located in Taylor, Texas, and operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). CCA is the largest private jail company in the world with one of the highest stock market values on Wall Street.
T. Don Hutto is the first prison authorized by the state to lodge whole families: men, pregnant women, adolescents, children, women, and even babies. The inmates are typically immigrants who are awaiting resolution of their immigration status.
T. Don Hutto is one of the many facilities that make up this booming industry. The private prison business has its own commercial exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order catalogues, and works with hundreds of partner companies¬—from architecture and construction firms to plumbers and vendors of food, security equipment and uniforms, to name only a few—that provide each prison with a range of services.
The cell in Regina José Galindo’s America’s Family Prison was rented for $8,000 from Sweeper Metal Fabricators Corp. It was occupied by the artist and her family for a performance that lasted only a limited period of time; it will remain open to the public for two months as an installation at Artpace.
1 Michel Foucault, Un Dialogo Sobre el Poder y otras Conversaciones (Madrid, Spain: Alianza, 2001).
2 “Las Prisiones Privadas para Inmigrantes,” Border Action, http://www.borderaction.org/campaigns3.php?language=sp&articleID=20 (accessed February 2008).
3 “La industria en las cárceles de EEUU: ¿un gran negocio o nueva forma de esclavitud?” ARLAC (Asociacion de Refugiados de Latinoamerica y del Caribe), http://www.arlac.be/2005/esclavitud.htm (accessed February 2008).
4 Michelle Brané, “Detenciones familiares en Estados Unidos,” Migraciones Forzadas Revista, http://www.migracionesforzadas.org/pdf/RMF%2028/39-40.pdf (accessed February 2008).
5 “Prisiones privatizadas en EEUU, modelo de exportación Mazmorras Inc.,” SIEP (Servicio Informativo Ecuménico y Popular), 30 October 2006, http://www.ecumenico.org/leer.php/1108 (accessed February 2008).
6 http://tdonhutto.blogspot.com/ (accessed February 2008).