Grief, Trauma, Love: A Discussion between 妮可·弗利特伍德 and Pepon奥索里奥
Scholar and curator 妮可·弗利特伍德 talks with artist Pepon奥索里奥 about his work 荣誉勋章 以及大规模监禁的祸害.
目前正在im电竞平台下载展出, Pepon奥索里奥的安装 荣誉勋章, 这是这位艺术家创作的关键作品, is prescient in its portrayal of the devastating impact of incarceration on a family from Newark, 新泽西, 在1990年代中期. 奥索里奥的业务广泛致力于社区和种族和社会正义问题的关键参与. Born out of the artist’s background in social work, 性能, video, and installation, 荣誉勋章 在新泽西北部州立监狱，一位被监禁的父亲和他十几岁的儿子在家中进行了一段感人的视频对话，为他们提供了一个身心都充满活力的空间. 拍摄时间长达数周, Osorio traveled back and forth between the prison and the family’s residence, sharing footage with the father and son to capture a distanced yet intimate exchange, 当他们挣扎于他们的分离和它对他们家庭的影响. The resulting work incorporates two separate projections of the father and son, 哪一面面对着分隔两个截然相反的空间的墙:一间牢房和一个青少年的卧室.
The recent acquisition and gallery installation of 荣誉勋章 继续im电竞平台下载对关于大规模监禁的对话的承诺，并跟随学者妮可·弗利特伍德的分水岭展览 标记时间: 艺术 in the Age of Mass Incarceration, which was presented at im电竞平台下载 PS1 in 2020. We invited Fleetwood to talk with Osorio about how he came to make this work, and how the issues it addresses continue to have a brutal impact on American families. 他们的谈话如下.
贝弗利·亚当斯, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American 艺术; Stuart Comer, The Lonti Ebers Chief Curator of Media and 性能
妮可·弗利特伍德: Pepón, I’m so happy that we’re having this conversation.
NF: 我必须看到 荣誉勋章 昨天. 这件事我已经听说好几年了. And it’s like nothing I could have imagined. Stuart [Comer] called me when it was acquired, and kept saying, “Do 你知道 this work? 你们应该看看.” Someone said, “It’s such a complete work of art.” And I thought that was a beautiful way of putting it. 感觉如此精致. And there are so many emotional layers to it. And I’m so excited to talk about it with you. 但我想先多了解一下你.
PO: 谢谢你！ Nicole, I feel emotionally connected to the work today as if it was made 昨天. So, I grew up where I am 正确的 now, in Puerto Rico. 我要在这里度假. When I was 19, probably in 1975, the second year of college, I decided to leave. 我真的很想去别的地方. “其他的”变成了南布朗克斯. I had a friend of the family who I called aunt and moved with her to the South Bronx of New York City. 我得跟你说实话, 我离开这个岛的原因是因为我的父母, 都是非洲裔, the goals that they had for me as a child were really determined by my race. 这让我很不自在. im电竞平台下载只是一个有着中产阶级志向的下层家庭. Both my mom and dad worked really hard, which is basically how I inherited my work ethic.
我以继续我的大学教育为借口离开了这个岛, 基本上是中产阶级的愿望. I was admitted to Lehman College, City University, in the Bronx, and majored in sociology. 在那之后, I got a job at the Human Resources Administration (BCW) in New York City, 作为一个社会工作者. I dealt with child abuse and neglect, where I saw and experienced a whole bunch of stuff. Moving to New York City as an Afro-Boricua opened my eyes to a new reality.
NF: And I 爱 the kind of ongoing 爱 affair, 美学上和政治上, between Black Americans and Puerto Ricans. 有这么多的协同作用, 尤其是在布朗克斯, 在东哈莱姆, 下东区, 以及布鲁克林的部分地区. 所以在70年代中期, 所有这些艺术团体都是围绕着波多黎各的身份而形成的，而且是真正的直接行动组织.
PO: 是的. 是的. 我姑姑是个激进分子. Something that I had never heard of growing up. I lived with her for many years and I learned from her that there was a way to candlelight, 有一种方法可以把我所有的感受引导到一个有可能发生转变的地方.
在我作为社会工作者的工作中, 我参观了许多, 许多家庭, 主要是在曼哈顿, who were reported as cases of child abuse and neglect. I soon realized that my experience as a child had been very different than the cases I was investigating, which opened a sense of 同理心 to what growing up Black and Brown means to many in the city. My mother and father were both very concerned about racial discriminations on the island; they were trying to bypass racial tension and minimize the struggle by providing us access to things that other Black kids did not have. In retrospect, I realize I was a privileged child.
快进到1978年:我遇到了Merián索托, 舞蹈家和编舞, and she opened up my whole life to movement, 剧院, 性能. We started to collaborate and that changed my life. im电竞平台下载在P处创建了块.S.1、DTW P.S. 大部分是前卫作品. im电竞平台下载结了婚，有了孩子. 这就是我生活的缩影.
我作为社会工作者的经历变成了我的艺术实践. All that I learned became my methodology—making real artwork with real experiences and people.
The ’80s for me was an era of syncretism; I started as an autodidactic artist and later I earned a master’s in art education at Teachers College, 哥伦比亚大学, where I received some formal training in studio art. 但更重要的是，我辞掉了BCW社工的工作. 我知道社会工作是行不通的. 它的制度议程适用于人，主要是有色人种. We were trying to box families into institutional models, applying remedies that I knew weren’t sustainable. 所以我离开了.
It’s with Merián that my curiosity with art began to bubble; 性能 and dance opened me to a different world. 这就解释了，妮可，为什么我的作品会有戏剧化. We were making work that reflected our lived experience. 我作为社会工作者的经历变成了我的艺术实践. All that I learned in BCW became my methodology—making real artwork with real experiences and people.
回想起来，我意识到我的父母是人文主义者. 我妈妈是一名护士, 但她也是个面包师, 她会在附近烤制和装饰蛋糕, 非常精致的蛋糕quinceañeras, 婚礼, 等. My early artistic experience came from helping her, and my father as well. 他在一个仓库工作, 但他总是在画画, 构建, 还有修理房子周围的东西. Both were very artistic, yet becoming an artist was never discussed as an option for me. There’s a third person who I received a lot of knowledge and understanding of life from as a child. 刚才是胡安娜，我爸妈上班时她照顾我. 她在我成长为精神生命的过程中起到了极其重要的作用. 她也是非洲后裔，非常有权势，知识渊博. 那时，她真的唤醒了我360度的人生观.
NF: 安装 荣誉勋章 感觉如此360度，如此沉浸其中. So you got into art-making through social work, and a desire to be active in your community...
PO: 正确的. So when I left social work with the Department of Human Services in New York, I began to develop my art practice on my own. 这是80年代中期. And I was just making work in total isolation. 事实上, 我曾向Beverly [Adams]和Stuart提到，我决定单独工作，因为我去了im电竞平台下载，看到了一个让我非常沮丧的展览, 所以很生气, 我发誓再也不进博物馆了.
NF: 哇. 展览im电竞平台下载??
PO: 我不记得了. But I remember looking at one specific artist that was talking about Puerto Rican communities, and how he perceived the Puerto Rican experience. And I left completely disillusioned and upset. And so I went through a process of isolation from the mid-’80s until the early-’90s, 我不参与任何视觉艺术领域的活动.
Pepon奥索里奥. 荣誉勋章. 1995
NF: The time period you’re talking about, in the mid-’90s, is when my cousins went to prison in Ohio. I talk about this in the preface of my book 标记时间. I was in college at that point, but most of my boy cousins were ending up in prison. 我就这样写, “im电竞平台下载没有语言来表达这种彻底的破坏, 绝望, at the time it was happening because it was completely restructuring everyone’s life. 他们的亲密生活，家庭生活，社区生活.“我认为破坏是如此严重...we have collective PTSD from this experience.
PO: You are 正确的, that’s exactly what it felt like. 绝对. And thank you for sharing because that was the same sentiment I believe they felt. 这很难用语言来表达. 所有的责任都落在了将要被监禁的人身上. 不知何故，im电竞平台下载无法系统地理解发生了什么. There was a group of maybe 20 young men and women, 在这个群体中, 18 of them had a history of parents who were incarcerated. 这很令人担忧. 所以im电竞平台下载继续讨论这个问题. 我决定改变整个项目的方向. 我带着幻灯机去了不同的监狱，做了完全相同的演示和讨论. I wasn’t looking for a father and son, because I had no idea what I wanted to do. But I knew that somehow I had hit on the 正确的 topic, and I was in the 正确的 place.
NF: Was it easy for you to get access to the prisons?
PO: 这很容易，因为在那个时候, I’d learned how to navigate the art world and I knew how the bureaucratic systems work. 所以我去和纽瓦克博物馆的理事谈了谈, 与纽瓦克市政府和官僚机构有很多联系的人. 我遇到了几个被囚禁的人, and the father in the video came forward after I finished a presentation and said, “我想和你一起工作.“这是一个很棒的机会，也是一个巨大的责任，因为我当时还不知道自己想做什么, yet I didn’t want to turn down his invitation. 他告诉我，“我是个艺术家. 我做图纸.” This immediately reminded me of my father. Intuitively, I responded, “I would 爱 to work with you. 你有孩子吗?” And he said, “Yeah, I have my wife and my son.” I said, “I would 爱 to work with your son as well, both of you together.他说:“是的，im电竞平台下载可以做到。. 我可以安排.在不到一分钟的谈话中，事情就这样开始了. He went back to his line and walked away, and I began negotiating with the prison administration. 他打电话给儿子，儿子愿意参与这个项目.
那时候，我对视频工作更感兴趣了. 事实上, the video camera and tripod were the only things I was allowed to bring into the cell. I would go and see the father in the mornings, and I met the son after school at his home. The only materials we used were the tripod and camera that videographer Irene Sosa provided, im电竞平台下载用牢房里父亲的白床单作为背景. I would say one or two words to them; the first was abuelo意思是祖父. And the father just went on and on and on for about an hour talking about his father. The same afternoon, I went to the son’s house and played the raw footage from that morning’s session. And then the son started to respond to the father. I just listened, recording the responses with the camera at exactly the same level as the father. Irene and I remained silent; we couldn’t laugh, cry, or even breathe audibly.
NF: Yeah, it looks bigger than an average cell. I know that you’ve embellished the son’s room. 很有装饰性吗?
PO: 不,不,不. 这是对他所拥有的东西的放大. With this installation, I wanted to reorient the way that we look at people in prison. I was looking at an intimate story; once you go into a prison, 这个世界完全改变了，不仅是为了进入这个世界的人，也为了留在这个世界的家庭成员.
NF: 在那个房间里, 你知道, 都是青少年流行文化的东西, but there’s something sacred about that space. 当然，和父亲那间简陋的牢房相比. Can you talk about shopping for things with the son, 你在建造那个房间的过程中真正培养了什么?
PO: 好吧, I was thinking about their family history, 但我也在创作这幅关于悲伤和爱的作品. That’s what I got from the family; it was a very sad process. From the son’s perspective, I was also thinking about the absence of the mother in the installation. 你知道, she was not absent in the family at all. 事实上, she was the backbone of the entire family. But in the conversation, much of it, it’s about them, even though both of them give credit to her. After hearing the conversation over and over again, I wanted to bring a feminine element in this room, 因为母亲把房间里的每一件事都处理得很好. 她的存在是显而易见的，尽管她没有出现. I wanted to include this very strong and quiet woman that made herself felt without words.
The floor speaks of the fragility of that time. One feels that if you step into that place, 镜子会开始破裂，一切都会开始分崩离析. I was also interested in bringing in the family history through 照片. 那些是真正的家庭照片. 我想以一种与监禁有关的方式来呈现它们, 但也让im电竞平台下载意识到被监禁的人被剥夺了人性.
When I listen to the son, the spiritual, the physical, and the mental are in alignment all the time. The father was in a state of reflection all the time. 在监狱里，他父亲肯定有时间思考. All this thinking comes through the conversation. You’re standing there and you’re creating a triangular relationship with these two. 你不可能不参与那项工作.
NF: 所以我想问你关于标题的问题. 在90年代, 黑人和波多黎各人, 拉丁裔的孩子经常被贴上超级掠食者的标签，主流媒体把他们描述为美化监狱. 我想要反驳这个观点, 因为我觉得实际上是社会在复制代际监禁和贫困的概念, not that people want to grow up and go to prison. 他们可能觉得这是不可避免的，因为他们可能觉得强加在他们身上的限制使得他们几乎不可能进入其他类型的机构空间. But 我认为 that people have taken the title of your work, 用这个标题来为代际监禁和贫困的意识形态辩护.
PO: 正确的. The majority of the kids that I spoke to and whose parents were incarcerated, no one will mess around with in the neighborhood. 他们受到尊重，因为他们有某种同情, 同理心, and people felt that they needed to protect those kids, 正确的? And so there’s this contradiction of the “荣誉勋章”; it’s some sort of a badge of honor that you feel, 和一个特殊的特权. It feels as if the neighbors are responding to your circumstances in a positive way, but also you don’t go around bragging about your status.
NF: 是的，他们在照顾你. 有人在照顾你. So, can you tell us about the first installation at the storefront, and then how it’s moved since?
PO: 好吧, 这幅作品最初于1995年在两个店面展出，距离我遇到的第一批告诉我关于纽瓦克监狱的孩子的社区只有几英里远. 我认为 Broadway was the name of the street. 它在下午开放，这样家庭就可以参观. And it was constantly packed with people who’d learned about the work through word of mouth. 有很多讨论. At the time I really wanted to connect with local artists and bring them to the installation. I 爱d the idea of recon文本ualizing possibilities of what art can do outside museum walls. 对于博物馆工作人员来说，安排和计划一场超出常规的展览，并在一个观众既有当地人又有好奇的博物馆参观者的社区参加开幕式，是一个挑战.
Now I wonder what will happen 25 years from today, and having this work in an institution like im电竞平台下载. 我也很好奇50年后会im电竞平台下载样子, and if this nation will ever get it together and figure out a way to end mass incarceration. 我认为 it’s time for all of us to begin sharing responsibility around this.
NF: 所以我的最后一个问题是，你知道这个家庭后来怎么样了吗? 尤其是这对父子.
PO: I can't talk about it because I made a promise to the family that I would never, ever reveal anything about their personal lives. 不过，他们确实看到了作品. 现在我正想办法把它们带到im电竞平台下载. 令人惊讶的是, in 1996, 在纽约罗纳德·费尔德曼画廊, 母亲告诉我, “I 爱 the idea of having this thing shown in a museum or in a gallery more so than the storefront.”
NF: im电竞平台下载并不是每个人都有同样的经历. 对于遭受这种国家折磨的家庭和社区来说，这是难以置信的毁灭性打击.
PO: 正确的. 你知道, im电竞平台下载在im电竞平台下载安装了这件作品, I stepped back and began to reflect on the words: grief, 创伤, 爱. These remain floating in the space where 荣誉勋章 is seen and heard. People feel these when they experience the work. 有一个巨大的, 美国的巨大需求, 开始就这些问题进行严肃的对话. 我认为 荣誉勋章 invites you to think of art for its aesthetic values, but also challenges you to reckon with where you stand with respect to mass incarceration. 我希望 荣誉勋章 促使观众更多地参与到对话中来, that it serves as a place for reflection, just like prison has been for many incarcerated people.
PO: 谢谢你！. 谢谢你！.
Pepon奥索里奥的 荣誉勋章 将展出到2022年3月6日.
Pepon奥索里奥 is an artist and the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Community 艺术 at Tyler School of 艺术 and Architecture, Temple University. He was a recipient of a Mac艺术hur fellowship in 1999. 他的工作 荣誉勋章 is 目前正在im电竞平台下载展出.
妮可R. Fleetwood is the James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, 文化, 以及纽约大学斯坦哈特学院的传播学. 她是 标记时间: 艺术 in the Era of Mass Incarceration (2020年)和策展人 同名巡回展它于2020年在im电竞平台下载 PS1首次亮相. She was a recipient of a Mac艺术hur fellowship in 2021.