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.