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Jenny Polak
BROOKLYN, NY
Neighborhood: Gowanus



ARTIST STATEMENT: I make site and community responsive art that reframes immigrant-citizen relations, amplifying demands for social justice. My work draws on my background in architecture and includes public and socially engaged projects such as architectural installations, drawings and useful commemorative objects. I come from England - family history of migration drives me to examine detention centers, racial profiling, and strategies for surviving hostile authorities. My fictional firm Design For The Alien Within creates hypothetical hiding and dwelling places, symbolic lookout and counter-surveillance structures. While I was Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern University, I conceived the ongoing project Mobile Speakers’ Podium for Citizens and Non-Citizens, which has appeared in several locations around Chicago, supporting community activism against mass incarceration and the for-profit prison industry. My art, collaborations and site-specific projects have been exhibited widely and awarded support by NYFA, the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Study of Visual Art and Franklin Furnace, among others. I have held artist residencies including with the National Park Service, Newark Museum, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
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