35+ Prisons in Québec is a sculptural artwork based on site visits to all federal and provincial prisons in Québec, from 2016 to 2017. The project understands prison as a system of power relations that extend far beyond concrete block walls, and in turn, the work asks “outsiders” to position themselves within this dynamic. 35+ Prisons in Québec locates prisons in relation to the role played by the Catholic Church in building the province’s first carceral institutions, many of which remain today. Despite the fact that half of the prisons in the province are situated in suburbs and city centres, the location of prisons remains hidden from everyday public knowledge. This is due to the ongoing invisibilization of those on the inside and those who are most in conflict with the law: Indigenous people, Black people, people of colour, people living with mental illness, and people living in poverty. Établissement Joliette pour femmes, a multi-level institution built in 1997, is located three kilometers from the Musée d’art de Joliette.
Work shown in the banner:
© Sheena Hoszko, 35+ Prisons in Québec, 2017.
Photo credit: Paul Litherland
Sheena Hoszko is a sculptor, anti-prison organizer, and settler living and working in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal), in Kanien’kehá:ka territory. Her art practice examines the power dynamics of geographic, architectural, and psychological sites, and is informed by her family’s experiences with incarceration, the military, and mental illness. Selected exhibitions include Centre Clark and La Centrale (Montreal), A Space (Toronto), Artspace (Peterborough), The New Gallery (Calgary), and Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga). Hoszko recently presented at the Queens Museum (NYC) as part of Open Engagement. Her writing has appeared in M.I.C.E magazine and within Free Inside: The Life and Work of Peter Collins, published by Ad Astra Comixs.