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Where it happens

Hard Place, an online exhibit by Jenny Polak and Lauren Gill, is all the more compelling for its being illicit. It consists of 3-D renderings of INS detention centers, accompanied by images of official documents pertaining to immigrants (formerly (I think)) detained therein, and other effects (including a model boat made from ice cream sticks).

INS detention sites prohibit visitors from taking photographs, making the pieces far harder to research and document (the New York Times reports). And the exhibit is all the stronger for it, affording us a rare, understated (and politically pointed) window onto an undeniably harsh and sometimes cruel system that we (as U.S. citizens, for those of us who are) are at the same time responsible for, on some level, and yet held in forced ignorance of — except that someone (a British artist, in fact), has exposed it, just a little.

June 10, 2002 8:58 PM

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