BETWEEN THE LINES consists of 15 metal folding chairs with wood desks organized in a grid structure imitating a classroom. Poets from Street Poets Inc. (L.A. based NFP organization that uses poetry to connect with and support youth both in and transferring out of Juvenile Detention Centers), were invited to perform in Between the Lines at the opening reception of Chain Reaction at Mark Moore Gallery.
For this performance, each poet sits at a desk with a carving tool and engrave their poetry into the surface of the desk. Viewers were encouraged to walk through the aisles reading the text while listening to a choir of scratch marks as the poets make their marks.
Periodically a poet would rise and proceed to the front of the room where Silence the Silence was installed. to perform a solo poem. The poems performed were personal, confrontational, powerful, and spoke through first hand experience to the issues addressed in the exhibition.
Collaborating with youth in LA helped bridge the relevancy of these issues nationwide rather than focused only in Chicago.
These desks remain on view throughout the exhibition.
BETWEEN THE LINES also produced as a 6 minute video documenting the poetry carved by Just Yell Chicago Poets. This video reveals the compressed tension within Chicago youths attempting to process and understand the violence and oppression in the city without systems of support.
The audio track composed of the act of engraving and scratching in the desks is projected loudly into the gallery space provoking a constant state of irritation.