Joseph Wilcox (b. 1984) is an artist and educator working in Chicago. His zines and books are part of small publishing libraries nationally and internationally. As an artist, Wilcox takes on the role of object- maker, documentarian, curator, and organizer to explore how institutional control and societal power subverts the autonomy of the individual. He is the co-founder and photo editor of LDOC, a free photography and creative writing publication given out twice monthly on the Red Line train in Chicago. Wilcox earned his BFA in Art Education from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2008 and an MFA in Visual Arts from the Lesley University College of Art and Design (formerly the Art Institute of Boston) in 2012. He currently teaches contemporary art practices to high school kids in Chicago.
“For the last three years, I have been working at a suburban high school as a teacher. During my first year, when cleaning out a storage closet in my classroom, I came across hundreds of incident reports that had been stored there. I made copies of these documents and returned them to their original location in the closet. As I read through the texts, I immediately noticed the subtle details describing the high school experience. I felt as if these incidents should be given visual representation. Over the subsequent years, I created photographs to illustrate each account.”
This is the official statement that accompanies Permanent Record. Like the work itself, it contains facts and fiction, and hopefully some truth as well. Working concurrently as a teacher and an unofficial artist- in-residence in a public high school, I worked with students to explore the concept of the high school individual and photography’s relationship to reality. By sharing the artistic process with my students, they were given the opportunity to collaborate and take part in artistic production.
To see more of Joseph’s work, check out his website.