Eric Saint Georges

LIFER, 2018

FREE STANDING SCULPTURE mixed media  
90 x 48 x 12 in
229 x 122 x 30 cm

Juried into the "Sculpture Now" exhibition at the Peninsula Museum of Art, this moving work was not exhibited there due to lack of space.

Saint Georges, who was born and raised in France, states: "The US holds over 20% of the worldwide incarcerated population and with 665 per 100,000, has the highest ratio of incarcerated population in the world (~10 times more than Sweden, ~14 times more than Japan). These few numbers cannot give a full picture of the issue but they can give a sense of its amplitude.

US mass incarceration consequences have a far reaching social impact, with a huge direct and indirect financial cost, and shows how inadequate the current US justice system is to address the root problems. For me, it demonstrates, among other things, a lack of belief in rehabilitation, lack of understanding of the aggravating effect of unnecessary long incarceration time especially on young population, and in general a lack of compassion. Not to mention the unfairness of the system given the disproportionate ratio of incarcerated minorities, and the often inhumane conditions the inmates are treated with.

An aspect of the problem which touches me particularly is the huge proportion of the population incarcerated for non-violent offenses (mostly related to drug, resulting from the war on drug policy started in 1980), most of the time with absurdly long sentences.
Such a waste of human life and unnecessary suffering for the prisoners and their families.
Such a lack of understanding of the real problem of addiction.
Such a lack of compassion.

With this work I just want to give the opportunity to think about this issue and experience the thought of spending a long/life time in prison.
Dear visitor,
Take a moment to imagine that for 20 year, 30 years, for life, your only horizon is this wall with a window so high that the only thing you can see is the sky."

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