Inscribed and signed verso, on mount, along bottom edge, in black ink: "1/7 Imperial Chicken Factory, Hamlet, North Carolina (June 1994) N-June 1994 / October 1994 Joel Sternfeld"
Twenty-five employees died and fifty-six were injured in a fire that swept through this chicken processing plant on September 3, 1991. Nearly all of the victims died of smoke inhalation while trying to escape through exits that were illegally blocked or padlocked. The plant had no fire alarm, no automatic sprinklers, and one fire extinguisher. Emmett J. Roe, owner of Imperial Food Products, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to almost twenty years in prison. Loretta Goodwin, a worker who survived the fire, claimed that the company kept the doors locked to prevent employees from stealing chickens.
From the series, On This Site: Landscape in Memoriam
Acquired from the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, through an Anonymous Gift
Extended information about this artwork
Art Institute of Chicago, “On This Site,” December 14, 1996 - April 18, 1997.
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