Pepón Osorio Badge of Honor 1995

  • Not on view

Badge of Honor emerged from Osorio’s engagement with a 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.”

Gallery label from 2021
Two standard-definition videos (black and white, sound; 19:25 min.), prison bars, beds, steel toilet and sink, fabric, cigarette boxes, photographs, shoes, dresser, cabinet, nightstands, lamps, baseball cards, posters, reflective floor tile, trophies, air fresheners, clothes hamper, television monitor, basketballs, mountain bike, computer, plastic, watches, rings, and black-and-white photographs
Overall dimensions variable
Acquired through the generosity of Heidi and Gregory Fulkerson, in memory of their parents Dr. Samuel and Katharine Fulkerson, and in honor of Warren James
Object number
© 2024 Pepón Osorio
Media and Performance

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