NYC-ARTS

S2020 E505 | CLIP

NYC-ARTS Choice: MoMA PS1, "Marking Time"

A visit to MoMA PS1 in Long Island City for a look at the exhibition “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration." The exhibition examines how artists bear witness to our society’s extensive use of imprisonment. NYC-ARTS spoke with Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University and the curator of the exhibition.

AIRED: November 19, 2020 | 0:08:28
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> [Background Music]

NOW, A NEW ON P.S. 1, LONG

ISLAND CITY, THE SOCIETY'S

EXTENSIVE USE OF IMPRISONMENT.

MARKING THE TIME OF MASS

INCARCERATION, TIME CONSUMING

AND SECRETIVE WAYS ARTISTS MUST

USE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES.

THOSE OUTSIDE OF THE PENAL

SYSTEM AFFECTED BY IT WE SPOKE

WITH NICOLE R. FLOOETWOOD, AT

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY AND THE

CURATOR OF THE EXHIBITION.

>> LIFE IN TIME IS A LARGE GROUP

EXHIBITION THAT LOOKS AT THE

IMPACT OF MASS INCARCERATION.

THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY

CRIMINALIZATION.

ARTISTS WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN

PRISON OR HAVE BEEN IN PRISON.

AND ABOUT A THIRD OF THE ARTISTS

WHO HAVE NOT BEEN IN PRISON, BUT

FOR MANY YEARS, MAKING WORK THAT

INVESTIGATES PRISONS, ANTI-BLACK

VILEPS, AND THE RANGE OF ART IN

THE EXHIBITION CHALLENGE

ASSUMPTIONS OF WHAT IMPRISONED

PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF.

THEIR INTEREST, THEIR ACCESS,

THE KIND OF RESOURCES THAT THEY

BRING INTO THEIR CREATIVE LIVES,

AND MOST IMPORTANT THINGS, HOW

THEY WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE

COMMUNITY AROUND ART.

ONE OF THE FIRST WORKS THAT YOU

SEE WHEN YOU WALK INTO THE

GALLERY IS TA MECCA COLE'S LOCK

IN THE DARK, IT IS INCREDIBLY

POWERFUL.

SHE WAS IN PRISON FOR 26 YEARS.

SHE MADE THAT WORK IN RESPONSE

TO SOME ABUSES SHE WAS

EXPERIENCING BY PRISON STAFF.

INSTEAD OF SAYING ANYTHING OR

DOING SOMETHING THAT COULD HAVE

EXTENDED HER SENTENCE, SHE

TURNED TO MAKING ART.

SHE SAID IN THE MAKING OF THAT

WORK SHE CREATED HER OWN PLACE

OF SURVIVAL.

ANOTHER ARTIST IN THE SHOW, DEAN

GILLESPIE, I THINK HIS WORK

DEMONSTRATES THE WAY IMPRISONED

PEOPLE, OVER HIS 20 YEARS IN

PRISON, HE MADE THE VIBRANT,

PLAYFUL MINIATURES, BASED ON A

KIND OF NOSTANLGICAL IDEA OF

AMERICAA, AND ROUTE 66, AND

EVERY SINGLE MATERIAL THAT HE

USED WERE ITEM THAT IS HE

ACQUIRED IN PRISON, WITH THE

HELP OF OTHER INCARCERATED

PEOPLE, WHO WOULD HELP PROCURE

MATERIALS, AND HE USED THOSE

WORKS TO MANAGE WHAT I CALL

PENAL TIME.

EXPERIENCING TIME AND

PUNISHMENT.

HE WOULD PLAN OUT AND SAY, THIS

WILL TAKE SIX MONTHS, THAT IS

SIX MONTHS THAT WOULD PREOCCUPY

WHEN HE WAS FOCUSING ON ART.

MANAGING TIME, AND HE HAD BEEN

WRONGFULLY CONVICTED.

AS A WAY OF FILLING LIFE.

SHE HAD SOME CONTROL OVER HIS

LIFE.

WHAT HE WAS DOING WAS DOING

READING OF POLITICAL THEORY AND

BLACK HISTORY.

ONE OF HIS PAINTINGS, CALLED

ELAPSIUM.

IT IS CALLED THE BROOKS ICONIC

SLAVE SHIP, USED BY BRITISH

APOLITIONISTS.

HE OVER LAYS THE BLUE PRINT OF

PRISON, WHERE HE WAS

INCARCERATED, AND LINES UP THE

HOLDING CELLS OF THE PRISON AND

THE SHIP.

YOU SEE THE ARTISTS MAKING

CONNECTIONS.

SLAVERY, JIM CROWE SEGREGATION,

AND OTHER FORMS OF SEGREGATION

AND MASS INCARCERATION.

WHEN I STARTED WORKING ON THIS,

I HAD NO IDEA HOW IMPORTANT

PORTRAITS ARE TO IMPRISONED

PEOPLE.

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND

SYMBOLIC, AND LITERAL USE.

ANOTHER REPRESENTATION OF

THEMSELVES, OTHER THAN THE MUG

SHOT OR THE PRISON IVY CARD.

I THINK YOU SEE THAT POWERFUL

EXHIBITION AND IN THE SERIES

THAT CONSISTENTS OF 20 MINUTE

FOR THE MOST PART GRAPHITE

SKETCHES OF OTHER IMPRISONED

PEOPLE.

HE IS UP TO 700 OF THESE IMAGES.

OUR EXHIBITION WAS SCHEDULED TO

OPEN ON APRIL 5th.

IT WAS DELAYED, WE OPENED

DECEMBER 17th.

THE WORKS ARE JARRING, AND THEY

MAKE VISUAL THE MULTIPLE CRISIS

OF PEOPLE IN PRISON.

WE KNOW THAT THE PANDEMIC HAS

NOT BEEN CONTROLLED IN PRISONS,

IT IS MORE HEIGHTENED.

RECENTLY, THERE WAS AN OUTBREAK.

THEY LOCKED DOWN THE PRISON.

WHICH MEANS PEOPLE ARE IN

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.

MULTIPLE LEVELS OF PUNISHMENT.

>> IN THE SAME ARTISTS WHO HAVE

NEVER BEEN IN PRISON, MEMBERSHIP

ARE ESTABLISHED ARTISTS.

AND SIMILAR.

AMERICAN ARTIST.

AND HER WORK SPEAKS SO MUCH TO

MCCARTHY CLIFFORD, A WHITE MAN

LIVING IN MINNEAPOLIS, CAME OUT

AND WENT TO ART SCHOOL.

THEY HAVE DONE THESE TAKING THE

STOOLS THAT PEOPLE SIT ON IN

PRISON VISITING ROOMS AND

TURNING IT INTO PLAYFUL BLUE AND

GRAY OBJECT THAT REMINDS HER OF

A CHILDREN'S GAME, JAX.

HIS WORK, IT WEIGHS A HALF TON.

IT CONSISTENTS OF HUNDREDS OF

CAFETERIA TRAYS, THAT YOU WOULD

SEE IN A PRISON.

YOU SEE THOSE TRAYS IN OTHER

INSTITUTIONS LIKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

OR ASYLUMS, FOR DANIEL, THAT IS

IMPORTANT.

HE IS THINKING ABOUT THE

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ALL OF

THESE TYPES OF DISCIPLINARY

INSTITUTIONS.

I WANT VISITORS TO REALLY BE

FULLY ENGAGED BY THE EXHIBITION.

I WANT IT TO BE A DUAL-PRONGED

EXPERIENCE OF BEING ABLE TO

APPRECIATE THE AESTHETICS THAT

ARE HAPPENING, AND ALSO, BE MORE

MOTIVATED THAN EVER TO ENDING

PRISONS AS WE KNOW IT.

STREAM NYC-ARTS ON

  • ios
  • apple_tv
  • android
  • roku
  • firetv