Regina Galindo America's Family Prison Essay

Decent Essays

Regina Galindo’s work ‘America’s Family Prison’ redefines how we critique global issues by creating a replica of a community, in this case a family prison for immigration detainees and through performance, engaging with political and ethical constructs in order to reveal broader social injustices around the world. Galindo’s work functions to bring non-public political issues into the public and artistic space, thus acting as a form of activism and representation of resilience.
‘America’s Family Prison’ first existed as a performance work, commissioned by the ArtPace Centre in San Antonio, Texas. Galindo ordered a replica of a prison cell from the Don T. Hutto Residential Family Centre, a privately owned family prison for Latin American detainees. …show more content…

Viewers must voyeuristically peer into the work, feeling as if they are trespassing into an intimate family space. Thus, Galindo at the same time highlights the conflict between the domestic nature of the work and its political impact.
This incongruity between a prison cell and family, as Galindo explores makes a direct statement about the local Texas community. Many viewers were unaware of the existence of the actual “Hutto Prison” until they had seen the work in the gallery space . Galindo’s ‘art object’ also raises awareness about how such issues can be ignored within a community or hidden by the power of political dominance. Therefore, the intrusive nature of the object directly critiques this situation.
Through performance, Galindo seeks to provide a narrative-like representation of an immigration detainee. By going through the regularities of daily life and caring for her children, Galindo recreates the direct experience of life within a prison. Galindo herself describes her role as “a social body, a collective body, a global body” . Thus, her actions personify the collective social turmoil, experienced by all

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