“When Nicole Fleetwood, a professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, began delving into the art that the US prison makes, over a decade ago, most people looked the other way. Whether applying for funding or proposing public programmes on the subject, she met with a wall of indifference, from blanket “no”s to the kind of reactionary response—“Why would you glorify criminals?”—that belies at best wilful ignorance. But hers, as she puts it, is a radical practice. And the fruits of her persistence take shape this month in a landmark group show with which MoMA PS1 in New York inaugurates its post-lockdown programming.
Marking Time: Art in the Era of Mass Incarceration features more than 35 artists in a collective reckoning with the havoc US punitive justice wreaks on every level: individual, familial, societal. Mass incarceration, as the New Yorker critic Adam Gopnik wrote in 2012, is the fundamental fact of contemporary America. With more than 2 million people in incarceration, it rivals countries in terms of population; and college in terms of prevalence as the defining event for much of the nation’s young and poor. It shapes cultures, drives economies. Mostly, it destroys communities.”
– by Dale Berning Sawa, The Art Newspaper
To read more, visit The Art Newspaper.
Visit MoMA PS1’s page to learn more about Marking Time.
Collection Ellen Driscoll