Ralf Huber “Turning the/into Tools”
December 1 @ 12:00 AM - December 31 @ 6:00 PMFree
An assemblage art exhibition reflecting on
lives not lived, lives cut short, lives exploited –
An exhibition about
The pieces on exhibit draw heavily from the time of the industrial revolution of the 19th century into the early 20th century, covering a wide array of industries and their respective role in using children as human capital.
Although using children as servants and apprentices was normal practice through the ages, the Industrial Revolution brought child labor to new extremes. While any type of factory labor during this period went unchecked and did not have any policies protecting workers, children found themselves particularly vulnerable to this new age. Children often worked long hours in dangerous factory conditions for very little compensation. Children were very valuable in the overcrowded factories due to their small size and ability to maneuver in small spaces or even mines. In addition to their size, factories found children much easier to manage- having fewer demands- and they could be paid far less than adults. Nothing can do justice to the horrors of child labor. This exhibition tries to shed light to the atrocities in using children to do not only adult’s work but grueling work.
The focus on this period of time is very intentional – the toil & suffering of these children needs to be both remembered and honored, for their sacrifices contributed measurably to the wealth we now live in.
The pieces in this exhibition shall also inspire the viewer to build the bridge from the past to the present, child labor is not a thing of the past. Children at all ages, in too many countries of this world, continue to get exploited, abused, trafficked, with their education denied and their health compromised – all to satisfy our, the consumers’, hunger for cheap goods and to quench the thirst of private & state capital for profit.
Ralf Huber, a resident of Springfield/OR, is a mixed media assemblage artist with the focus on environmental & social justice.