Culture Quarry is an exhibition of partial reconstructions—made entirely of discarded items, concrete, and wire mesh—of the buildings on the Essex County Jail site.
Culture Quarry is an interpretive art project that expounds the material sourcing, social use, and decay of the Essex County Jail in Newark.
The Essex County Jail has been accumulating artifacts deposited by natural forces and human interaction. In any rehabilitation of this site, these discarded items would be lost, and along with them an intangible history of how the jail’s role has changed over the years. Culture Quarry is an exhibition of partial reconstructions— made entirely of discarded items, concrete, and wire mesh—of the buildings on the Essex County Jail site. In these structures, the artifacts collected from the Essex Jail behave as building blocks and are an example of how materials, in this case anything from de- teriorated brick and stone to tattered shoes and empty spray cans, can be representative of a building’s complicated history.
This project will address the multifaceted history of use at the Essex County Jail and its significance to various groups of people, which includes the homeless, graffiti artists, those previously incar- cerated, residents of Newark and New Jersey, photographers, and those interested in the architectural and material history of the site.