Killing Season Chicago at The Violet Hour in Wicker Park
As of May 1st 2010, it was estimated that the same number of Americans were killed in Chicago as in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. In a time when Americans are focused on simultaneous wars in places that are beyond our immediate reach, I am interested in exposing the breadth of violence that occurs right here in the city of Chicago. It is common to hear someone say after a particularly devastating day for the city, "And it's not even summer yet." As the temperature rises so does the homicide rate. Beginning on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day of 2010, I tracked the homicides in the city. Once the crime scenes were processed and the yellow tape was taken down, I visited and photographed the locations of each murder. This piece, which represents the homicides that took place between July 1st and Labor Day, shows 107 of the 173 killings in the city last summer. The form of the installation is created by data. Reading left to right, each day is represented by a column, each person that was killed on that day is stacked on that column in the order that they were killed. The result is a chart that looks like a city skyline. The purpose of this installation is to make tangible the statistics that we gloss over in the news every day.
The installation is finally complete. Stop by The Violet Hour for some tasty cocktails and check it out!