Common Ground

What’s With All the Exhibitions About Prisons?

Featuring Ashley Hunt, Rachel Nelson, and Risa Puleo in conversation with Pete Brook

 

1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Curators and educators Ashley Hunt, Rachel Nelson, and Risa Puleo join writer and curator Pete Brook for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading.

In this talk

Barbara Bloom

Barbara Bloom
Artist Barbara Bloom (b. Los Angeles, California: 1951) lives and works in New York City. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; The Serpentine Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; among many others. An extensive survey of her work, The Collections of Barbara Bloom, was organized in 2007-08 by Brian Wallis for the International Center of Photography, New York, and traveled to Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.

Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson
Curator, writer, and educator Dr. Rachel Nelson is director of the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, UC Santa Cruz. She is currently working on a monograph, Seeing in Whiteout, focusing on the strategies contemporary artists use to reveal and disturb the racialized histories and presents of prisons and policing in the United States. Recent publications include book chapters, exhibition catalogue essays, journal articles, and review, included in the Brooklyn Rail, NKA, Third Text, Savvy, and African Arts.

Risa Puleo

Risa Puleo
Curator Risa Puleo researches the entanglement between the Americas and Europe during the early modern period with a focus on how Indigenous American objects and people were important to the formation of the Wunderkammer and Early Modern Museum through their collection as objects of wonder, scrutiny, spectacle, and study. Her exhibition Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the American Justice System at Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston (2018-19) was founded on her research into the museum and prison as sister institutions developing from the same cultural logic. Puleo is a student in the Art History doctoral program at Northwestern University, Chicago. She has written for Art in America, Art Papers, Asia Art Pacific, Modern Painters, among other publications.

Pete Brook

A photograph of Pete Brook by Robert Gumbert
Freelance writer and curator Pete Brook is interested in social justice and the politics of visual culture. He writes and edits Prison Photography, a website that analyzes imagery produced within and about prisons with a focus on the American prison industrial complex. Prison Photography has been recognized as one of the best photography blogs by LIFE.com, the British Journal of Photography, and the Daily Beast.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Jimmy Santiago Baca reading.

Jimmy Santiago Baca

Jimmy Santiago Baca
Jimmy Santiago Baca is an award-winning American poet and writer of Chicano descent. While serving a five-year sentence in a maximum security prison, he learned to read and began to turn his life around, eventually emerging as a prolific artist of the spoken and written word. He is a winner of the prestigious International Award for his memoir, A Place to Stand, the story of which is now also a documentary by the same title.