Marking Time

Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Tameca Cole. Locked in a Dark Calm. 2016. Collage and graphite on paper, 8 1/2 × 11". Collection Ellen Driscoll
  • MoMA PS1, First floor

This major exhibition explores the work of artists within US prisons and the centrality of incarceration to contemporary art and culture. 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. The exhibition has been updated to reflect the growing COVID-19 crisis in US prisons, featuring new works by exhibition artists made in response to this ongoing emergency.

On view across PS1’s first floor galleries, 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 commitment 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 follows the release of Fleetwood’s new book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

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 Rose Daniel; Halim Flowers; 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; Aimee Wissman; and Women on the Rise!.

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

Major support for Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration is provided by the Art For Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; the Office of the Provost and the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University—New Brunswick; and MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art, Julia Lourie, Robert Lourie and Ivana Stolnik, Stardust Arts, NYU's Center for Black Visual Culture, and the MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund.

Special thanks to JTT, New York; Carlos/Ishikawa, London; and Malin Gallery, New York.

We extend much gratitude to the following organizations: American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch Project; Justice Arts Coalition; Prisoner Express, Center for Transformative Action; and Women on the Rise!

Artists

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