Incarceration Nation

Imprisonment is part of the American experience. With the decline of farming, mining, and manufacturing, prisons represent a rare growth industry in the heartland: We have 2,304,270 and counting behind bars. District legislators legally count inmates as constituents, and use the Census to siphon federal funding out of urban communities into rural prison towns. "Criminal: Art and Criminal Justice in America" faces the growing epidemic of imprisonment and explores its human toll through artwork made on either side of the walls. Julie Green's "The Last Supper" is a series of plates depicting the final meals of 383 prisoners condemned to death. Deborah Luster's "One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana" captures the portraits of inmates in aluminum. William Pope.L's "Setting the Table" puts the faces of alleged 9/11 terrorists on slices of bologna and, literally, hangs them out to dry. And Rigo 23's latest commission, "CRIMINAL/VICTIM," employs products made by real California prisoners. On March 1, a symposium with panels and workshops led by artists, activists, and prominent scholars in the field of criminal justice features a keynote address delivered by one-time Black Panther and real-time UCSC Professor of History of Consciousness Angela Y. Davis.
Feb. 16-March 15, 2008

 
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