Pepón Osorio: Side by Side

house with no roof and covered with lotto tickets inside another building

Side by Side, a project by Pepón Osorio. William Staffeld / AAP

Pepón Osorio, the artist-in-residence for the 2016 Cornell Council for the Arts biennial titled Abject/Object Empathies, unveils a new, site-specific installation made through a year-long process of working within the university and downtown Ithaca communities.

Side by Side tells the story of a local family matriarch who, as a grandmother to nine young boys, holds her family together over many generations. Staged as an enormous, upside-down house wedged tight between floor and ceiling and covered in lottery tickets that promise dreams of a better life, the project is at once an intimate portrait, social critique, and compassionate expression of inclusion and persistence.

Because the project is the culmination of the journey Pepón Osorio has taken with those who shared their lives and stories with him, the installation will serve as the centerpiece for a series of conversations between students, faculty, community members, and local leaders.