“Buon Pastore” is a multi-channel video installation that was recorded in a 17th-Century girls’ prison in Rome called “Buon Pastore”
(Good Shepherd). Originally a prison for pregnant and wayward girls, it is now the seat of “La Casa International Delle Donne” (National
Feminist Institute) of Italy. Housed in small, white, mostly windowless cells, the young women and girls were separated into categories - penitent
or repentant and remediated through sewing and embroidery. A third group of girls, deemed in need of protection and education were
housed in the prison as well, separate from the first two groups. They also spent their days sewing and embroidering.
The installation merges notions of confinement and silence, authority and power. It explores ideas of containment, intimidation, restraint,
inhibition, and discomfort. I’m also interested in how silence activates viewer response. What she holds in check, silent, on matters of
which she has a perspective, due to centuries of collective training.
Performer: Dina Madi