Installations > Dishrag Mnemonic

Dishrag Mnemonic is a tool for remembering what connects you and your home to people in confinement in Cook County Jail. It is part of Roman Susan's Community-Hosted Art Collections: Chicago residents can sign up and host artwork from this collection for a period of six months, for free.

Cook County Jail is the largest single site jail in the country, located by the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal in the Little Village neighborhood. The rock, found on the shore of the canal near the jail, is the only consistent object installed from home-to-home throughout the community hosting of this artwork. The dishrag and sculpted fabric are specific to each home.

The host provides me with a used dishrag. I then create three sculptures that serve as in-betweens, visually connecting the dishrag to the rock. After six months of installation in the host's home, the host and myself arrange to meet for burying the three in-between sculptures. The materials the sculptures are made of - mostly cotton and gypsum - are biodegradable, and help nourish soil with calcium. The host and I determine through conversation where to bury the sculptures.

After returning the three sculptures to the earth, the host resumes using their dishrag. It will serve as a mnemonic to remind them of their connection to the land, water, and jail systems of Cook County.

Dishrag Mnemonic
Rock, dishrag, cotton, water putty
Variable
2018
Dishrag Mnemonic
Rock, dishrag, cotton, water putty
Variable
2018
Dishrag Mnemonic
Rock, dishrag, cotton, water putty
Variable
2018
Dishrag Mnemonic
Rock, dishrag, cotton, water putty
Variable
2018
Dishrag Mnemonic
Rock, dishrag, cotton, water putty
Variable
2018
Dishrag Mnemonic
Rock, dishrag, cotton, water putty
Variable
2018
Dishrag Mnemonic
Rock, dishrag, cotton, water putty
Variable
2018