Saturday, March 19, 2011

Salina Ellis presents Michael Ta'Bon

While he may not be an artist, ex- convict Michael Ta'Bon's actions do fall into the realm of interventionist art. For the month of February Ta'Bon created his own jail in an abandoned lot in Philadelphia. He then served one month in his self made prison made of plywood and wallboard. He wears an orange jumpsuit and unshackled handcuffs.

He hopes to deter young people from venturing into a criminal life. On one occasion a police officer brought teenagers to meet Ta'Bon and hear his message. The students are listening. The experiences he relates and demonstration are causing the students to really think about their choices.

"He was speaking life," said sophomore Brandon Jiles, 16. "He made me think twice."

Ta'Bon does have permission from the lot owner for his performance. He did not obtain any permits and several have inquired about this. He hopes these inquiries will fade away.

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