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Protest Art Posted on Julie Hall Construction Site

Internment camp art installation

Photo provided by Plastic Jesus

Five Boston area construction sites were selected as part of a social commentary art installation. Emmanuel College’s Julie Hall was one of them.

Posted on the fence surrounding the site was a large sign reading “Lot reserved for: Future Internment Camp.” Bellow the statement and a presidential seal read “By order: Donald J. Trump.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Rissmeyer stated that a member of the construction crew observed two men posting and photographing the sign.  The sign was displayed only long enough for one of the men to photograph it.  A crew member informed the two men that they were trespassing and not permitted to hang the sign on the fence. The two men left immediately.

The signs not only appeared on construction sites in Boston. They were spotted and photographed on construction sites nationwide.

The signs were the work Los Angeles based street artist Plastic Jesus.  According to his website, Plastic Jesus works to confront “our compliance of culture and current affairs” and use “scale and contradiction as a means to highlight issues and opinions that often go unquestioned.”

“Art works in a very different way to other forms of protest. Marches, and demonstrations are very immediate and often cause as much opposition as support,” Plastic Jesus said in an email. “Art I believe acts more of a catalyst. A slow burning influence that can get people to question their ideas and options.  With social media art has a long term existence as it get posted time and time again. So the duration of the effectiveness can be sustained.”

Plastic Jesus wanted the signs to “jar” and thinks they succeeded in raising important questions.

“When I first came up with the concept about 2 months ago the idea of internment camps seemed so far-fetched. But now we seem to be driven by Trump’s racist agenda where it could be a real possibility,” he said. Plastic Jesus selected the construction sites for a specific reason.

“I wanted the signs to be located where they would seem to look official. There is always local interest as to what is being built on construction sites to it seemed add to the message by choosing these locations,” he said.

Plastic Jesus is currently working on more politically based projects, but his “lips are sealed” as to what they might entail.

According to Administration, the site will continue to be monitored by construction crew members. Campus security was also notified about the incident.

Haley Biermann is the Managing Editor Elect of The Hub. She can be contacted at biermannh@emmanuel.edu

Posted by on April 3, 2017. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.