Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist and educator whose artistic practice negotiates matters of geography, power, spatial justice through installation, sculpture, audio, performance, and community engagement.Artist Bio
The Cook County Jail is one of largest pre-detention facilities in the country, housing over 10,000 detainees daily and over 100,000 per year. Located at 26th street and California in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago (the artist’s native community), the jail is for some residents of the community an obtrusive reminder of incarceration, while altogether overlooked and strangely invisible to others. RADIOACTIVE will create a public, visual and sonic space that draws from those affected by incarceration to create narratives that counter preconceived notions of incarceration and provoke discussions around systems of power and their psychosocial geography. Audio will also be made available through an online archive, radio and other exhibition spaces.
Maria Gaspar presents “RADIOACTIVE” at the 2016 Creative Capital Retreat
Maria Gaspar is a Chicago-born interdisciplinary artist negotiating the politics of location through installation, sculpture, sound, and performance. Gaspar’s work addresses issues of spatial justice in order to amplify, mobilize, or divert structures of power through individual and collective gestures. Gaspar’s collective practice consists of large-scale projects, such as City As Site and 96 Acres, a series of community-engaged site-responsive actions that negotiate the Cook County Jail’s impact on the west side of Chicago through participatory installations and performance. Gaspar continues this exploration in her Creative Capital project, RADIOACTIVE, a public, visual and sonic space that draws from those affected by incarceration to create narratives that counter preconceived notions of incarceration and provoke discussions around systems of power and geography.
Gaspar’s projects have been supported by the Art for Justice Fund, the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, the Creative Capital Award, the Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant, and the Art Matters Foundation. Gaspar has lectured and exhibited extensively at venues including the Contemporary Arts Museum, in Houston, Jack Shainman Gallery, in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, PA, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, holds an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.