Prison Stick-and-Poke Tattoos
in Jars

April 2, 2014 | Marina Galperina

Here are some Polish prisoner tattoos. They were cut with razor blades, glass shards and sharpened paperclips. Then inked with burned rubber, charcoal and other shit. Then, after the convicts’ deaths, they were “extracted” from the corpses, stuck into jars of formaldehyde and stacked at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Then, photographed by Polish artist Katarzyna Mirczak. Then, loftily hypothesized upon as to their meanings (” emblematic signs,” “secret criminal code,” “hidden language”) and implications (“an alternative view on social issues such as exclusion, crime and punishment”), and ooh’ed and ahh’ed at. But really, they are just lumps of bio-looted flesh with bad tattoos of chicks getting fucked, animal predators and something about Jesus. The “symbols and motifs” are very direct. (Images: DesignBoom)