New York

Pepón Osorio

Ronald Feldman Gallery

It is difficult to deny the initial power of Pepón Osorio’s installation Badge of Honor, 1995, and it’s not much easier to disentangle the various elements that produce that impact on later reflection. Much of this difficulty has to do with the lingering effects of finding that one had walked in on an intimate conversation between a Latino father and his son, which Osorio staged by building a bleak prison cell and a teenager’s pop icon–encrusted bedroom on either side of a wall. Against the far wall of the cell was a large black and white video projection of the father, while on the facing wall of the bedroom was an analogous video projection of the son.

Why, the father asks, couldn’t the son come home on time? Why, replies the son, does the father spend so much time in prison? Mesmerized both by the intensity of these seemingly genuine interrogations and the study in contrasts made possible

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