THE WRIT­ING ON THE WALL PROJECT

PA­TRI­CIA AND PHILLIP FROST ART MU­SEUM MI­AMI (Un­til Dec 9th, 2018)

Gervois - - Editorial Content -

A col­lab­o­ra­tive in­stal­la­tion, The Writ­ing on the Wall: Hank Wil­lis Thomas and Dr. Baz Dreisinger presents es­says, po­ems, let­ters, sto­ries, and notes writ­ten by pris­on­ers around the world. With their project, Thomas, an in­ter­na­tion­ally-ac­claimed vis­ual artist and Dreisinger, the Found­ing Aca­demic Di­rec­tor of John Jay's Pri­son-to-Col­lege Pipe­line pro­gram, call at­ten­tion to the cri­sis of mass in­car­cer­a­tion.

Dur­ing her years teach­ing in US and in­ter­na­tional prisons, Dreisinger col­lected the hand-writ­ten and typed pieces, which she and Thomas present as con­tem­po­rary hi­ero­glyphs. The doc­u­ments cre­ate an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence and in­vite close look­ing. The Writ­ing on the Wall con­stantly evolves and shifts fo­cus based on the ma­te­rial writ­ten by those liv­ing be­hind bars.

This ex­hi­bi­tion is a part of the For Free­doms ini­tia­tive founded by artists Hank Wil­lis Thomas and Eric Gottes­man. In­spired by artist Nor­man Rock­well’s paint­ings of Franklin D. Roo­sevelt’s Four Free­doms (1941)—free­dom of speech, free­dom of wor­ship, free­dom from want, and free­dom from fear— For Free­doms uses art to en­cour­age and deepen pub­lic ex­plo­rations of free­dom in the 21st cen­tury.

The mu­seum presents this ex­hi­bi­tion in con­cert with the Com­mon Read­ing Pro­gram at Flor­ida In­ter­na­tional Uni­ver­sity. This year, in­com­ing fresh­men at FIU have read A Stone of Hope by Jim St. Ger­main, a mem­oir that re­lates the au­thor’s ex­pe­ri­ences in the ju­ve­nile jus­tice sys­tem.

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