Marking Time: New Freedom Center Exhibition Explores Impact of Incarceration

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School of Art faculty Ashley Hunt is among the artists whose work is included in Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, an exhibition revealing the impact of the US prison system running from April 22–Aug. 7 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. 

Marking Time features works by more than 30 artists, some of whom have been or are currently incarcerated. Through the lens of contemporary art, the show illustrates how millions are affected by “punitive governance, predatory policing, surveillance and mass imprisonment.”

More about the exhibition from the Freedom Center:

Art made in prison is crucial to contemporary culture, though it has been largely excluded from established art institutions and public discourse. Marking Time aims to shift aesthetic currents, offering new ways to envision art and to understand the reach of the carceral state on life today.

Hunt was commissioned to create Ashes Ashes for the exhibition, a two-channel video featuring the coastline around the upper East River, where the Rikers Island Jail Complex (scheduled to shutter in 2027) in New York is located. Alongside members of the former No New Jails Coalition, Hunt imagines an abolitionist future amid the backdrop of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. The installation is also accompanied by a digital newspaper, including an interview with abolitionist and scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore. 

Marking Time, which originally opened at MoMA/PS1 in 2020, is organized by MacArthur Fellow, curator, and art historian Dr. Nicole Fleetwood. In January of this year, she and artist James “Yaya” Hough—whose works are also included in the exhibition—were invited to the School of Art’s Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series (PBVALS).

PUBLISHED BY Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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