Sheena Hoszko


Sheena Hoszko is a sculptor, anti-prison organizer, and Polish settler living and working in Tio'tia:ke/Mooniyaang/Montréal. Her art practice examines the power dynamics and violence of geographical, architectural, and psychological sites, informed by her family's experiences with incarceration, the military, and mental illness. Employing strategies of post-minimalism to draw attention to the politics of space and material, Hoszko primarily uses rented and reusable materials, which re-enter the world as non-art after a project is complete. Hoszko has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, A Space in Toronto, and La Ferme du Buisson in Paris. She has held residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico, La Cité internationale des arts in Paris, and Villa Magdalena K in Germany. Her writing has appeared in MICE Magazine and Free Inside: The Life and Work of Peter Collins. Hoszko was named to the 2021 Sobey longlist and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Cultural Studies department at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.


Installation title: It costs $125, 466 per year to keep a person in prison. What kind of institution would you build instead?

This project is a site-specific installation comprised of two painted banners fabricated and installed within the Galerie d’art du Parc. The banner reads, “It costs $ 125, 466 per year to keep a person in prison. What kind of institution would you build instead?”

Galerie d’art du Parc is located within the Manoir de Tonnancour on Abenaki land stolen by the governor of New France Louis d'Ailleboust in 1650. The Manoir de Tonnancour has served as many things, including a Seigneurie, hospital, prison, and boys school. In response to this ongoing history, this project is based on the thinking of Black abolitionist activist-scholar Ruthie Wilson Gilmore and her notion of prison abolition as “building life-affirming institutions.” Made using canvas tarp and latex paint, the banners prompt the viewer to imagine how to differently use the annual $ 125, 466 per-person budget allocated to keep a person in prison in so-called Quebec and Canada. The project is accompanied by a guestbook for visitors to record their ideas about generative ways of living, as well as short text about the history of prisons in so-called Quebec and Canada. After the exhibition period is over at Galerie d’art du Parc/Manoir de Tonnancour, the banners will be dropped within a yet to be decided public space.

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