Press Release

Featuring art made by people in prisons and works by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure and imprisonment, “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” highlights more than 30 artists, including Birmingham-based Tameca Cole, Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter, Larry Cook, Maria Gaspar, Dean Gillispie, Mark Loughney, George Anthony Morton, Gilberto Rivera and Sable Elyse Smith.

“Marking Time” features works that bear witness to artists’ experimentation with, and reimagining of the fundamentals of, living under punitive governance as they push the possibilities of these basic features of daily experience to create new visions of justice and healing. The resulting work is often laborious, time-consuming and immersive, as incarcerated artists manage penal time through their works and experiment with the material constraints that shape artmaking in prison.

The exhibition also includes works made by nonincarcerated artists — both artists who were formerly incarcerated and those concerned with the impact of the United States prison system on marginalized communities. From various sites of the carceral state, these artists devise strategies for visualizing, mapping and making physically present the impact and scale of life under mass surveillance, criminalization and imprisonment for targeted populations, underscoring how prisons and the prison industrial complex have shaped contemporary life.

Also included in the exhibition are works by American Artist, Cedar Annenkov, Sara Bennett, Conor Broderick, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, Daniel McCarthy Clifford, Russell Craig, Amber Rose Daniel, Halim Flowers, Gary Harrell, James “Yaya” Hough, Ashley Hunt, Jesse Krimes, Susan Lee-Chun, William B. Livingston III, Ojore Lutalo, Jesse Osmun, Jared Owens, Rowan Renee, Billy Sell, James Sepesi, Todd (Hyung-Rae) Tarselli, Jerome Washington, and Aimee Wissman.

“Marking Time” is organized by Nicole R. Fleetwood, Ph.D., James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, and reflects her decade-long commitment to research and programming on the visual art and culture of mass incarceration. The exhibition follows the release of Fleetwood’s award-winning book, “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” (Harvard University Press, 2020), recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.

The exhibition is accompanied by a dynamic series of public programs, performances and education initiatives organized with several community partners, including Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, Jefferson County Memorial Project, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Youth Legacy Program, and numerous departments from UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences and UAB’s Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

“Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” is organized by Fleetwood with exhibition coordinator Steven G. Fullwood in collaboration with AEIVA Senior Director John Fields, AEIVA Assistant Curator Tina Ruggieri, AEIVA Education Manager Christina McClellan, and AEIVA Collections and Exhibitions Coordinator Sheleka Laseter. The exhibition debuted Sept. 17, 2020, at MoMA PS1 and was organized by Fleetwood with assistant curators Amy Rosenblum-Martín, Jocelyn Miller and Josephine Graf.

Major support for “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” is provided by the Art for Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; and the Alabama State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to MoMA PS1; Independent Curators International; Birmingham Museum of Art; Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, Alabama; Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; JTT, New York; and Malin Gallery, New York.

AEIVA is now open to the public, with timed tickets. One ticket per visitor. Each individual member of your group will need to book a ticket. Reserve your free ticket to view the exhibition.Spaces per time slot are limited to 10 for a one-hour long visit. If you cannot make your timeslot for any reason, please cancel the booking or call 205-975-6436. If you have any issues with booking your ticket or would like to reserve a group tour, contact AEIVA at aeiva@uab.edu.

Visitors must wear a mask at all times inside the AEIVA building and keep socially distanced. Free and metered parking is available along the streets surrounding AEIVA. Safety is UAB’s priority. The pandemic is a fluid situation that UAB is monitoring, in consultation with infectious disease and public health experts; events will be subject to change based on the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines.

All upcoming “Marking Time” programs are designed as hybrid events, with both in-person and virtual components. AEIVA is prepared to move any of the events entirely virtual at a moment’s notice. Visit AEIVA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest updated information.


Featured in Culture Type’s Best of September list, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration is note for it’s exploration of, “the prominence of incarceration in contemporary art and culture and presents works by more than 30 artists in U.S. prisons alongside contributions by non-incarcerated artists ‘concerned with state repression, erasure, and imprisonment.'”