Brooklyn Rail Review of 'Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture & Reparations | Chicago to Guantánamo

Luke Fidler, The Brooklyn Rail, May 16, 2022
"Works from the two sites are juxtaposed across two floors, sometimes brought directly into relation—most remarkably in a set of testimonial line drawings by Abu Zubaydah, Aaron Patterson, and Darrell Cannon chronicling the torture they were subjected to—and sometimes paired suggestively. Damon Locks’s pen-and-ink drawings (2021) look like excerpts from an abolitionist graphic novel. “Keep your mind free and stay alive,” urges one panel, a snarling vampire personifying the structural forces of prejudice that artificially curtail the imagination. When viewed alongside Khalid Qasim’s House of Knowledge (2017), one of the few sculptures to leave Guantánamo, the commitment to critical thought’s emancipatory power reads as a gesture of resistance to the gnawing, numbing ways that prison holds minds as well as bodies hostage. Made from wood, coffee, creamer, paint, and cardboard, Qasim’s large box displays a cracked book and clock on shelves, a series of tiered steps inviting the viewer to enter this “Hall of Enlightenment.” It’s as if Joseph Cornell tore open one of his assemblages and welcomed the world inside." -- Excerpt