Cop Stop

33.3 in. x 19 in.
Paint and engraving on wood
©Maureen Kelleher 2004
Detail image with engraved text. Back to gallery 2
Engraved text on the work:
God help the poor schmuck who pees his pants and can’t articulate a rational thought. COP STOP

Artist’s note: My mother had a nervous breakdown nearly every year after my birth until her death in 1994. My sisters remember she was packed in ice, like a fish. I could only watch as she shuffled along -- “march of the petit pois” — induced by Lithium, helped along by electric shock.

Twenty years later, I found my client, Bennie, one very hot August New Orleans afternoon. Way off her meds and shouting at people at the bus stop. She stepped from the curb and screamed into traffic. Sweating like a pig, wearing a big blue down coat. I took her into McDonald’s for the air conditioning. She pointed out where the cops had beaten her up, right there, beside the dumpster.

I heard about a man who was sodomized with a broom handle in New York. In New Orleans they used needle-nose pliers. I read about alligator clips applied to the genitals and a suspect’s testicles kicked up into his body. The bloody carpet was pulled up and replaced by maintenance guys.

The (disad)vantage point of the poor schmuck.

The details of his/ her life.

I’m gonna guess terror ad infinitum.

* 2/05 BRITTA KONAU, Associate Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, selected this piece for inclusion, 7th Annual All-Media Exhibition at Touchstone Gallery, Washington D.C.

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