Exhibition: February 18 – April 1, 2012
Cruel and Unusual looks at how the prison system is presented in images, and how these images are created, distributed and consumed. How do citizens – tax payers and empathetic humans – come to an understanding of life in prisons on the basis of the information – politicized or not – which they receive? Cruel and Unusual takes a startling and sometimes disconcerting look behind various prison walls around the world. Each photographer confronts her viewers in her own way with the question how current practices of mass incarceration reflects our changing sense of decency and justice.
The photographers selected, Araminta de Clermont, Amy Elkins, Alyse Emdur, Christiane Feser, Brenda-Ann Kenneally, Jane Lindsay, Deborah Luster, Nathalie Mohadjer, Yana Payusova, Lizzie Sadin and Lori Waselchuk, each use their own strategies, materials and techniques. Given the extent of access to prisons, they work with amateur photography, alternative processes, texts, painted images, digital manipulation or traditional black and white documentary photography. Much of the work is being shown in The Netherlands and Europe for the first time.