The House that Herman Built

9-20 July 2008

"What kind of house does a man who has lived in a 6' x 9' cell for over 30 years dream of?" This question was the starting point for a collaborative project between artist Jackie Sumell and Herman Wallace, a prisoner who has spent the last 35 years in solitary confinement at Louisiana State Penitentiary. During five years, Sumell and Wallace have shared a written correspondence, which gave birth to this project and the designs for a concept house. Their ongoing conversation has produced sketches, plans, models and an architectural animation showing what the house would look like, as well as a publication comprised of the letters between artist and prisoner, and a 1:1 replica of Herman's prison cell. This exhibition, curated by first year students of MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Arts, was complemented by a series of talks and events that addressed the politics of the project and the role of the artist as activist.

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In collaboration with Brompton Design Project


Monique Beudert Fund