Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

September 17 - December 11, 2021

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will host the major exhibition exploring the works of artists within prisons in the United States and the centrality of incarceration to contemporary art and culture, on view from Sept. 17-Dec. 11.

Featuring art made by people in prisons and works by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure and imprisonment, “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” highlights more than 30 artists, including Birmingham-based Tameca Cole, Mary Enoch, Elizabeth Baxter, Larry Cook, Maria Gaspar, Dean Gillispie, Mark Loughney, George Anthony Morton, Gilberto Rivera and Sable Elyse Smith.

“Marking Time” features works that bear witness to artists’ experimentation with, and reimagining of the fundamentals of, living under punitive governance as they push the possibilities of these basic features of daily experience to create new visions of justice and healing. The resulting work is often laborious, time-consuming and immersive, as incarcerated artists manage penal time through their works and experiment with the material constraints that shape artmaking in prison.

The exhibition also includes works made by nonincarcerated artists — both artists who were formerly incarcerated and those concerned with the impact of the United States prison system on marginalized communities. From various sites of the carceral state, these artists devise strategies for visualizing, mapping and making physically present the impact and scale of life under mass surveillance, criminalization and imprisonment for targeted populations, underscoring how prisons and the prison industrial complex have shaped contemporary life.

Also included in the exhibition are works by American Artist, Cedar Annenkov, Sara Bennett, Conor Broderick, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, Daniel McCarthy Clifford, Russell Craig, Amber Rose Daniel, Halim Flowers, Gary Harrell, James “Yaya” Hough, Ashley Hunt, Jesse Krimes, Susan Lee-Chun, William B. Livingston III, Ojore Lutalo, Jesse Osmun, Jared Owens, Rowan Renee, Billy Sell, James Sepesi, Todd (Hyung-Rae) Tarselli, Jerome Washington, and Aimee Wissman.

“Marking Time” is organized by Nicole R. Fleetwood, Ph.D., James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, and reflects her decade-long commitment to research and programming on the visual art and culture of mass incarceration. The exhibition follows the release of Fleetwood’s award-winning book, “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” (Harvard University Press, 2020), recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.

The exhibition is accompanied by a dynamic series of public programs, performances and education initiatives organized with several community partners, including Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, Jefferson County Memorial Project, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Youth Legacy Program, and numerous departments from UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences and UAB’s Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

“Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” is organized by Fleetwood with exhibition coordinator Steven G. Fullwood in collaboration with AEIVA Senior Director John Fields, AEIVA Assistant Curator Tina Ruggieri, AEIVA Education Manager Christina McClellan, and AEIVA Collections and Exhibitions Coordinator Sheleka Laseter. The exhibition debuted Sept. 17, 2020, at MoMA PS1 and was organized by Fleetwood with assistant curators Amy Rosenblum-Martín, Jocelyn Miller and Josephine Graf.

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; NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; NYU Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture, and Communication; and Alabama State Council on the Arts. Special thanks to MoMA PS1; Independent Curators International; Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; JTT, New York; and Malin Gallery, New York.

 

Art for Justice
NYU Steinhardt
Alabama State Council on the Arts

 

UAB’s AEIVA will reopen with a timed ticketing system, to allow visitors to view the exhibition safely at appointed times.

Safety is UAB’s priority. The pandemic is a fluid situation that UAB is monitoring, in consultation with infectious disease and public health experts; events will be subject to change based on the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines.


Tameca Cole, Locked In The Dark
Larry Cook, The Visiting Room #4
Dean Gillispie, Spiz’s Dinette
Mark Loughney, Pyrrhic Defeat: A Visual Study of Mass Incarceration
Gilberto Rivera, An Institutional Nightmare

 


 

 

Public Programs for "Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration"

AEIVA opening night panel discussion

Friday, Sept. 17 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Join AEIVA for an opening night panel discussion for “Marking Time,” a major exhibition exploring the works of artists within United States prisons and the centrality of incarceration to contemporary art and culture. Registration is required to attend this virtual event.

Register

AEIVA’s “Outside the Lines: Tameca Cole”

Thursday, Oct. 7 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Birmingham visual artist and writer Tameca Cole will conduct a collage workshop at AEIVA. Cole’s work is featured in “Marking Time.” Registration is required to attend this virtual event.

Register

“State of Alabama Prisons, Past and Present”

Tuesday, Oct. 12 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a lively panel discussion at AEIVA with journalists, educators and advocates discussing the impact of the carceral state in Alabama. Registration is required to attend this virtual event.

Register

“AEIVA Movie and a Tour Night”

Thursday, Oct. 21 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Join AEIVA staff for a tour of current exhibitions, followed by a film screening and discussion related to AEIVA’s current exhibition “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” Tour starts at 6 p.m.

“Chamber Music @ AEIVA: Marking Time”

Thursday, Oct. 28 from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Free chamber music performed by some of Alabama’s top musicians and thoughtfully curated in response to artworks currently on display in AEIVA’s current exhibition, “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” Presented by AEIVA and the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music. Organized by Laura Usiskin, cellist for the Alabama Symphony. Registration is required to attend this virtual event.

Register

“Mass Incarceration on Trial”

Wednesday, Nov. 10 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

UAB’s Mock Trial team and Brandon L. Blankenship, director of the Pre-Law Program in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Criminal Justice, is partnering with UAB advocacy students to bring the “Marking Time” exhibit to life in a showcase mock trial. The hybrid event will be held at AEIVA and virtually via Zoom. Registration is required to attend this virtual event.

Register

"Spoken Word at AEIVA”

Thursday, Nov. 11 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Readings created by and read by UAB’s Department of English students with select readings from the Jefferson County Memorial Project blog by alumni of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Youth Legacy program. Registration is required to attend this virtual event.

Register

“Men’s Training, A Special Reading”

Monday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m.

“Theatre’s Call to Action,” a Birmingham Southern College course, will present a special reading of “Men’s Training” by Daoud Boone, a playwright who is incarcerated at Limestone Correctional Facility. Registration is required to attend this virtual event.

Register

Virtual AEIVA “Marking Time” Closing Event

Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Join AEIVA for an engaging discussion with several artists featured in the “Marking Time” exhibition focusing on centering incarceration in their art. Moderated by curator Nicole Fleetwood, Ph.D. Registration is required.

Register


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