Badge of Honor emerged from Osorio’s engagement with a predominantly working-class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, where it was first shown in a storefront. Osorio was concerned to learn that for many young people there, having a parent in jail was considered a badge of honor.
Taking a closer look at the impact of mass incarceration on one family, Osorio filmed a conversation between an incarcerated father at New Jersey’s Northern State Prison and his teenage son at their family home. He traveled back and forth between them over several weeks, sharing footage with each to capture a distanced yet intimate exchange. Here, projections of the father and son face opposite sides of a wall separating two dramatically opposed spaces: a prison cell and a teenager’s bedroom. At one point, notwithstanding the notion of the “badge of honor,” the son declares, “Dad, I would be willing to give up anything for you to just be home with us.”
Organized by Beverly Adams, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, with Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.