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Sentence Worn

Concrete, Video Projection

In Collaboration with Tirtza Even and Mary Heinen

Sentence Worn, produced in collaboration with Mary Heinen Glover and Tirtza Even, is a Sculptural/Video installation illustrating Mary Heinen-Glover’s account of the impact of imprisonment on her body, after spending close to 27 years locked in Michigan State prisons.

The installation comprises of a set of short vignettes projected on opposing sides of a concrete slab. In them specific recalled scenes are recounted through their detailed visual and visceral impressions: the light, the touch, the heat, the movement, the colors comprising Mary’s personal and embodied experience. The story, that is, focuses on the physical imprint of incarceration and of reentry: the sentence as worn--and worn out--by Mary’s body over time.

Among the topics we explore in the installation are Mary’s coping with a damaged sexual identity resulting in part from having entered prison a young woman in her early twenties, undergoing recurring events of sexual abuse while in prison, and leaving it menopaused and middle aged. Also recorded is the story of Mary’s health deterioration due to years of impoverished resources and conditions of living, and specifically her struggle with Asbestosis after having been exposed daily to contaminated structures in Florence Crane women’s facility in Coldwater, MI.