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Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

MoMA PS1

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MoMA PS1 will present a major exhibition exploring the work of artists within US prisons and the centrality of incarceration to contemporary art and culture, on view from April 5 through August 23, 2020. Featuring art made by people in prisons and work by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure, and imprisonment, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration highlights more than 35 artists, including American Artist, Tameca Cole, Russell Craig, James “Yaya” Hough, Jesse Krimes, Mark Loughney, Gilberto Rivera, and Sable Elyse Smith. Alongside the exhibition, a series of public programs, education initiatives, and ongoing projects at MoMA PS1 will explore the social and cultural impact of mass incarceration.

On view across PS1’s second floor galleries, Marking Time features works that bear witness to artists’ experimentation with and 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, underscoring how prisons and the prison industrial complex have shaped contemporary culture. The exhibition features work by 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.

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), a trailblazing publication on this subject.

 

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration is organized by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Guest Curator; Amy Rosenblum-Martín, Guest Assistant Curator; and Jocelyn Miller, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1.

Support is provided by the Office of the Provost and the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

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Images

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Tameca Cole, Locked in a Dark Calm, 2016. Collage and graphite on paper. 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Collection Ellen Driscoll.

Larry Cook, The Visiting Room #4, 2019. Digital photograph, 40 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Dean Gillispie, Spiz’s Dinette, 1998. Tablet backs, stick pins, popsicle sticks, cigarette foil. 16 x 8 x 5 in. Courtesy of the artist.

James “Yaya” Hough, Portrait of Yaya, 2015. Acrylic on parachute cloth, 60 x 35 1/2 in x 1/2 ft. Collection Russell Craig.

Mark Loughney, Pyrrhic Defeat: A Visual Study of Mass Incarceration, 2014-present. Graphite on paper (series of 500 drawings). Each 12 x 9 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Gilberto Rivera, An Institutional Nightmare, 2012. Federal prison uniform, commissary papers, floor wax, prison reports, newspaper, acrylic paint on canvas. 32.25 x 24.25 inches. Collection Jesse Krimes.

Rowan Renee, No Spirit For Me (detail), 2019. Mixed-media installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Sable Elyse Smith, Pivot II, 2019. Stainless steel with 2k painted finish. 56 x 56 x 56 in.  Courtesy the artist, JTT, New York, and Carlos/Ishikawa, London.