109 Years Since The Jungle

November 4, 2015 to December 15, 2015

Contemporary artists respond to Upton Sinclair's classic text The Jungle, which portrays the wretched conditions for works and animals in the Chicago meat-packing industry of the early 20th century.


A reflection by curator Lindsay Garcia:

109 Years Since The Jungle is an interdisciplinary art exhibition featuring six emerging contemporary artists (Lauren Britton, Lindsay Garcia, Kelsey Harrison, Eugenia Malioykova, Ryann Slauson, and Jess Whittam) who work in painting, video, printmaking, and sculpture. The curatorial vision for this exhibition entailed engaging five working artists (plus myself) to read and respond to The Jungle (1906) by Upton Sinclair, a depressing critique of modern capitalism by way of following the lead protagonist Jurgis, a male, Lithuanian immigrant, through the treacherous conditions of work and life at the turn of the twentieth century in the Chicago stockyards and packing plants. This method derived from the idea of fashioning artistic research in a similar way that scientists do lab work. By choosing artists who come from different places and work across varied thematic and conceptual frameworks, I had no idea what the end results would be as I did not intervene in the artistic process for these artists.

Images of the exhibit are available from Swem Library on Flickr.

Curator: Lindsay Garcia, MA/PhD Candidate in American Studies