Interior Subjects: Portraits by Incarcerated Artists
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Claflin Lecture by Nicole Fleetwood: Portraits by Incarcerated Artists
Nicole R. Fleetwood is a writer, curator, and professor of American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Her books are Marking Time: Art in the Era of Mass Incarceration (forthcoming), On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination (2015), and Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (2011). She is co-editor of Aperture magazine’s “Prison Nation,” a special issue focusing on photography’s role in documenting mass incarceration. Fleetwood has co/curated exhibitions on art and mass incarceration at the Andrew Freedman Home, Aperture, Cleveland Public Library, Zimmerli Museum, and the Urban Justice Center. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the NYPL’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, American Council for Learned Societies, Whiting Foundation, Schomburg Center for Scholars-in-Residence, and NJ Council for the Humanities. From 2001 to 2003, she was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Literacy at Vassar College.
Fleetwood will discuss the various techniques incarcerated artists use to create portraits of family members, public figures, and other prisoners. Portraits by currently and formerly incarcerated people are works made by some of the most socially and politically devalued subjects who insist upon aesthetic discernment and the right to look and represent. They offer new systems of value and exchange through one of the oldest and most storied genres of western art.
Sponsored by the Art Department and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center