This major exhibition explores art and mass incarceration, featuring art made by people in prisons and work by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure, and imprisonment. With more than two million people currently behind bars in the United States, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration underscores how prisons and the prison industrial complex are central to contemporary art and culture.
Marking Time features works that bear witness to artists’ reimagining of the fundamentals of living—time, space, and physical matter—pushing the possibilities of these basic features of daily experience to create new aesthetic visions achieved through material and formal invention. The resulting work is often laborious, time-consuming, and immersive, as incarcerated artists manage penal time through their work and experiment with the material constraints that shape art making in prison. The exhibition also includes work made by nonincarcerated artists—both artists who were formerly incarcerated and those personally impacted by the US prison system. From various sites of freedom or unfreedom, these artists devise strategies for visualizing, mapping, and making physically present the impact and scale of life under carceral conditions. Alongside the exhibition, a series of public programs, education initiatives, and ongoing projects will explore the social and cultural impact of mass incarceration.
Marking Time is organized by guest curator Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, and reflects her decade-long dedication to the research, analysis, and archiving of the visual art and creative practices of incarcerated artists and art that responds to mass incarceration. The exhibition corresponds with the release of Fleetwood’s new book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2020).
Artists: Carole Alden; American Artist; Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter aka Isis tha Saviour; Sara Bennett; Conor Broderick; Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick; Daniel McCarthy Clifford; Tameca Cole; Larry Cook; Russell Craig; Amber Daniel; Nereida García-Ferraz; Maria Gaspar; Dean Gillispie; GisMo (Jessica Gispert and Crystal Pearl Molinary); Ronnie Goodman; Gary Harrell; Brian Hindson; James "Yaya" Hough; Ashley Hunt; Michael Iovieno; Jesse Krimes; Susan Lee-Chun; William B. Livingston III; Mark Loughney; Ojore Lutalo; Bob McKay, Donald, Kit, Charlie, and Lopez; Cedar Mortenson; George Anthony Morton; Jesse Osmun; Jared Owens; Rowan Renee; Gilberto Rivera; Billy Sell; James Sepesi; Welmon Sharlhorne; Sable Elyse Smith; Justin Sterling; Todd (Hyung-Rae) Tarselli; Jerome Washington; and Aimee Wissman.