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Panel Discussion

Art & Incarceration

Wednesday, February 28

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Aperture Gallery and Bookstore 547 West 27th Street New York, NY


Panelists: Aliya Hana Hussain, Jesse Krimes, Joseph Rodríguez

How does incarceration impact art making for incarcerated artists and non-incarcerated artists concerned with the criminal justice system? This panel brings together a range of artists and figures who facilitate art projects with incarcerated individuals.

Moderated by Nicole R. Fleetwood, contributing guest editor of Aperture’s “Prison Nation” magazine.

In a series of public programs that accompany the spring issue of Aperture magazine and the related exhibition, Prison Nation, photographers, writers, historians, and activists discuss the unique role photography, art, and storytelling play in understanding and creating a dialogue around the crisis of mass incarceration in the United States.

Click here to see the full list of Prison Nation programming

Nicole R. Fleetwood is associate professor in the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is currently completing a book on art and mass incarceration. Her two previous books are Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (2011) and On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination (2015). Fleetwood is the recipient of awards and fellowships from NYPL’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, American Council of Learned Societies, Whiting Foundation, Schomburg Center for Scholars-in-Residence, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts.

Jesse Krimes
is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Philadelphia. While serving a six-year prison sentence, he produced numerous bodies of work that have been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University; and the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery of Drexel University, among other venues. After his release in 2014, he partnered with the Soze agency to cofound “Right of Return USA,” the first national fellowship dedicated to supporting formerly incarcerated artists. Krimes is currently a 2017 Robert Rauschenberg fellow and is represented by Burning in Water gallery in New York.

Joseph Rodríguez
is a documentary photographer born and raised in Brooklyn. He studied photography in the School of Visual Arts and in the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program at the International Center of Photography in New York City. He has worked at print and online news organizations, including National Geographic, the New York Times Magazine, and the BBC. Rodríguez has been awarded Pictures of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the University of Missouri, in 1990, 1992, 1996, and 2002. He is the author of five books, and his photographs have been exhibited worldwide. He is represented by Galerie Bene Taschen.

Aliya Hana Hussain is an advocacy program manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she manages advocacy and campaigns challenging indefinite detention at the US military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the profiling and targeting of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities. Her work focuses on developing new and creative partnerships with artists, musicians, and activists to bring the stories and artwork of CCR clients to new platforms and audiences. Her essay “Storytelling #Guantanamo” was published in Obama’s Guantánamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison.

Image: Joseph Rodríguez, At Walden House FOTEP (Female Offender Treatment Employment Program), a young mother holds her son, El Monte, California, 2008; © the artist

Aperture magazine’s “Prison Nation” issue and the related exhibition and programs are funded, in part, with generous lead support from the Ford Foundation, as well as funding from the Reba Judith Sandler Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Grace Jones Richardson Trust, and the Board of Trustees and Members of Aperture Foundation. Additional public funds are from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Art & Incarceration