Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out

Founded in 2001, the Gage Gallery was founded after Roosevelt University moved into the new historical Gage building on Michigan Avenue.  Newcity art described the new gallery as “Chicago’s premier space for showcasting critical social photo-documentary”.  The intent of the gallery is to exhibit national and international photographers and artists while also hosting public lectures, panel discussions and symposia.  Their website states that the gallery is committed to showing contemporary work that addresses the important social issues of the time.

Exhibitions are sponsored by Gage Gallery in addition to multiple departments within Roosevelt University, depending on the exhibition.  One such department is the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, out of the College of Arts and Science.   This project is a program unique in the US where students conduct comparative research on the promotion of human rights in the US and abroad. 

Previous exhibitions include titles such as “Juvenile-in-Justice”, “Prison”, and “The Innocents: Headshots”.

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Guant 1

(Photographs are from Clark’s website.)

Their current exhibition is “Guantanamo: If the Lights Goes Out”.  Edmund Clark’s stunning photographs take center stage in this exhibition, running until May 4, 2013.  The photographs, along with letters and cards sent to previous detainee Omar Deghaves (now a UK resident) looks at Guantanamo as a home.  The three types of homes addressed include the naval base, the camps where detainees were held, and the new homes where former detainees now find themselves trying to rebuild their lives.  As stated on Roosevelt University’s website, “the viewer is asked to jump from prison camp detail to domestic still life, from life outside to the naval base and back again.  From light to dark.”

The “Letters to Omar” section consists of letters sent from everyone from family members, lawyers, and complete strangers to Deghaves during his imprisonment at Guantanamo.  The cards represent the process of receiving mail while in the prison.  Both within the exhibition and in real life, Omar (and thus the visitor) never saw or will ever see the original documents sent.

The exhibition runs from February 7th until May 4th.  guant 2

 Their website: Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University

Edmund Clark’s website: If the Light Goes Out 

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