Monday, April 15, 2013

Mark Strandquist

Mark Strandquist (Richmond, VA) strives to facilitate interactions that incorporate viewers as direct participants, features histories that are typically distorted or ignored, and challenges the form and function of public space.

His work has been featured in various institutions, film festivals, print and online magazines, and independent galleries. The project Write Home Soon was exhibited in the 2012-13 international showcase of Socially Engaged Art at the Art Museum of Americas, Washington, DC. The ongoing project, The People’s Library is part of the permanent collection at the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library and will be presented by Strandquist at the 2013 Open Engagement Conference.

View more of Mark's work here 

Project Statement 

Some Other Places We've Missed is an ongoing project featuring collaborative practice, interactive installations, and workshops held in various jails and prisons. Functioning in multiple ways, the project uses photography as the catalyst for social engagement and strives to facilitate a humanistic window into the histories, realities, and desires of some of the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans.

At each workshop inmates are asked: “If you had a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?” Participants provide a detailed memory from the chosen location, and describe how they would want the photograph composed. The locations are then photographed and an image is handed or mailed back to the incarcerated participants.

While the images facilitate room for personal associations, the written descriptions become the meeting place for alienated publics and blur our notions of personal, public and exiled space. The project is realized through a set of limitations. Those set by each incarcerated participant--who provide each image’s location and corresponding composition--and those limitations argued by many to be integral to the photographic medium.

Installation View 

Public Collaboration, Richmond VA

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