090123 Gaspar 012

Maria Gaspar

Disappearance Jail (Washington)(Illinois), 2023 - Ongoing

Perforated Archival Inkjet prints on Hahnemuhle Rice Paper, 5 x 7 inches each

Dimensions variable

The Disappearance Jail series records the eventual erasure of carceral architectures in each of the 50 U.S. states. Prints depicting current prisons, jails, and immigrant detention facilities across the country are obscured through hole-punch perforations. Some images are sourced online, while others can only be sourced through specialized databases or satellite imagery. Depending on the pattern, perforating the images can render them fragile, and susceptible to disintegration at the slightest touch, as if enacting the end of the U.S. carceral state in its entirety. Notably, these images of each state’s carceral facilities are perforated during “Punch Parties,” participatory community events often organized with local abolitionist groups in those states. To date, the states that have been “punched out” are Illinois, California, Ohio, and Virginia. 

 Once the facilities of all 50 states have been collected and perforated, the images will be gathered together in one comprehensive installation that pictures both the full magnitude of the architecture of incarceration in the United States, and that architecture’s potential dissolution. Washington will be the fifth state in the series. For its presentation at the Seattle Art Fair, Washington’s 95 facilities are juxtaposed to Illinois’ 160. Just these two states occupy the space of a 21-foot by 24-foot wall. This iteration allows you to imagine how much wall space is needed for another 48 states. 

Maria Gaspar, Disappearance Jail (Illinois), 2023 – Ongoing, Dimensions variable, 160 perforated Archival Inkjet prints on Hahnemuhle Rice Paper, 5 x 7 inches each