April 5 – May 12, 2007
In the Project Room
ClampArt is pleased to present Stephen Wilkes’ “Ellis Island.” Stephen Wilkes’ dramatic Ilfochrome prints of the “dark side” of Ellis Island will be displayed in conjunction with the release of his new monograph, “Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom” from W.W. Norton & Company. For five years, 1998-2003, Wilkes had free reign of the hospital complex that comprises the south side of Ellis Island. Neglected for nearly fifty years, the buildings were in an extreme state of disrepair: lead paint peeled from the ceilings and walls of rooms, vines and trees grew through the floorboards of once-cramped wards, detritus and debris littered the hallways. In spaces long abandoned, Wilkes manages to capture undeniable evidence of life. His is an alternate and breathtaking vision of this gateway to freedom. And through his artwork, Wilkes inspired and eventually helped raise six million dollars in funding towards the restoration of the south side of the island.