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Oral History: PAULINE MATHIS
Artist: Beatrice Loiseau
Title: Switchboard, 2015, glass, cord, copper wire, 5/8”x10”x 22”

Oral History: PAULINE MATHIS
Artist: Beatrice Loiseau
Title: Switchboard, 2015, glass, cord, copper wire, 5/8”x10”x 22”

“Switchboard” was inspired by the Krueger-Scott Mansion project, which interviewed many African Americans about their experiences migrating from the South to Newark, NJ. Pauline Mathis told a very vivid story of her life and I captured the part that struck me the most: about her first job experience in Newark, working at a news printing shop where she mastered the switchboard. My work consists of three pieces of glass that are bound in an authentic switchboard cord. The first one shows a map of Mathis’ journey to Newark. The second consists of a picture of a switchboard machine with the cords in it and a quote from Mathis about learning to use it. Lastly, I wanted to create an end cover that one can feel and visualize. The actual switchboard cord going through holes brings the idea of a switchboard and Mathis’ experiences to life.

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