Between 2013 and 2014, artists Damon Locks, Fereshteh Toosi, and Sarah Ross worked with 11 artists at Stateville on a year-long project, supported by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, around the ideas of time, play, and freedom. In an exhibition called “Unfinished Business: the Right to Play,” they revisited the early 1900s Progressive Era concerns around the connections between free time, labor, and play. In that historical moment, ideas of free time were connected to one’s ability to participate in a democracy. Our project considered these histories of time and labor and our working context—a state prison—where people ostensibly have a lot of time, but no freedom to control it, to act upon it, or to use it in the way that Progressive Era activists imagined.
The projects that emerged from this year-long inquiry into time include a series of works on paper in the form of experimental timelines, a video animation, an audio project, a print publication co-written with Erica Meiners, and a parallel community engagement module that Fereshteh Toosi designed for students at Columbia College Chicago.
To Shoot a Kite, CUE Foundation, New York, NY
Art from the Propeller Fund, Mana Contemporary, Chicago
The Material That Went to Make Me, South Side Community Art Center, Chicago
Unfinished Business, The Right to Play, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Chicago
96 Acres, Projections at Cook County Jail, Chicago
Hidden Lives Illuminated at Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
Mitigating Evidence, Chicago Art Department in Collaboration with Free Write Arts and Literacy
Alan D. White
Joseph Rodney Dole II
William T. Jones