- Exhibitions & Events
Around the world, millions of people are held in prisons, jails, detention centers, camps, and other sites of confinement. In fact, thousands of carceral spaces permeate contemporary life. The economics, spatial planning, and logic of punishment shape our everyday lives, even if we have not had direct experience with police, courts, ICE agents, detention centers, jails, or prisons.
Through transnational dialogues facilitated by art and art-based workshops, formerly incarcerated artists engaged in intimate conversations and collaboratively collected created artifacts and objects desired during imprisonment or those that kept them connected to their outside life; created installations of banned smells, videos of pervasive surveillance, and they shared their experience of time and space with artworks that could be seen only in the mirror in another installation with embedded related soundscapes. This collection along with artists' individual artworks are displayed in this exhibition.
While different regimes and nation-states lock up people based on distinct ideas of safety and order , through a collaborative, art-based process these artists found common practices of punishment permeated through their experiences. Whether they were detained in the notorious Evin prison in Iran, in any of the horrendous prisons in Illinois, or in horrific island prisons located off Australian shores, the violence of the carceral spaces and practices could all but break their humanity and ability to care for others. As transnational research reveals the off-shoring of American practices of punishment and incarceration to nations around the globe, this exhibition shows how these practices and policies are felt by those who have experienced them. In this way, this exhibition uses sensory experiences to think through the ways that punishment is used to hold power over lives across time and nationalities.
Artists include Vincent Robinson, Kenneth Norton, Monica Cosby, Lauren Stumblingbear, Imran Mohammad, Pablo Mendoza, Sarah Ross, and Nasrin Navab.
Design, Execution, and Curation by University of Illinois Visiting Artist Nasrin Navab in collaboration with Sarah Ross and Pablo Mendoza.
Sponsored in part by the College of Fine and Applied Arts, Allerton Park & Retreat Center, and Krannert Art Museum. Support provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency and National Endowment for the Arts.