THE WRITING ON THE WALL PROJECT
PATRICIA AND PHILLIP FROST ART MUSEUM MIAMI (Until Dec 9th, 2018)
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.