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Andrea Peña
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Asim Waqif
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Shohei Katayama
As Below, So Above
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Doreen Chan
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After School

Teen Summer Workshop Series
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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Charlie Jansen

Superhero Puppet Project: Cape Town, Baltimore & Pittsburgh


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Every Superhero rises out of the ashes of some sort of tragedy. Their planet blows up, their parents get killed in front of them, etc. We all have our own personal struggles and live in communities where tragedy strikes.

In this installation, students consider their own history and neighborhoods. What kind of superheroes are needed and why? Do these characters have a nemesis or a sidekick? What is their power and what is their passion? In other words, what is their story?

Curated by Tavia La Follette

Artist Statement

Formerly incarcerated, I know what it is like to grow up in the Vrygrond Township. I have personally traveled down roads that are put before my students. Most importantly, I understand the impact of Art (hopes/dreams) and Leadership (heroes/mentors).


Civil Rights & Civil Wrongs: South Africa and US, May 25 - July 29, 2018
About The Artist

Charlie Jansen is trained as a Community Art Facilitator and muralist and works at the Butterfly Project in Cape Town, serving low income families from pre-school to adulthood.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition

Ancient Instincts

In The Red: Never Mine

the space I am in: CONJURING


WE ARE HERE: Finding Beauty In The Raw



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