Reception: Saturday, March 30 from 5pm to 8pm
Featuring Artists: Edgar Endress, Maria Gaspar, Mark Strandquist, Jan Banning, Molly Gochman, Jesse Krimes, and Paul Rucker
Curated by artist and scholar Erin Devine
One in three African-American men will be incarcerated at some point in their lives. An estimated 2 to 4 million people are trafficked for forced labor and sex every year. Latino men are incarcerated in the US at a rate of 1 in 36, making them the second most represented group in the prison system. The US has the world’s highest incarceration rate, with a growth of over 700% since 1970 for men, and over 600% since 1980 for women. Overcrowding and the “prison-industrial complex” have been looked at critically since the 1990s, alongside the increasing number of facilities built and supplied by private prison companies that are supported by state and federal legislation.
(In)Justice Systems seeks to provide a space for broader meanings of “incarcerations” that are global, racial, gendered, and psychological, with works that engage community action, spatial concepts, and history. Some of the exhibiting artists (Maria Gaspar, Mark Strandquist, Molly Gochman, Edgar Endress) address the direct impact these systems have on communities and seek to empower agency through interactive projects, while artist Jesse Krimes experienced incarceration himself and whose work uniquely bridges subjective experience and objective philosophies on imprisonment. Paul Rucker addresses the historical and evolutionary connections between slavery and incarceration, and the environmental photographs of Jan Banning lend access to global systems through comparative analysis. (In)Justice Systems activates consideration of the personal and social impact of forms of incarceration that continue beyond the terms of those imprisoned, perpetuating systems that demand witness and resolution. – Erin Devine
Roman Holiday by Jennifer R A Campbell
Jennifer R. A. Campbell’s compositions call attention to the chaotic world of humanity, while conversely investigating the various elements that inform the ways we interact. She presents her characters in fictitious landscapes, amid a frenzied environment that invites the spectator into a visual feast of symbols. In the absence of words, the viewer is able to arrive at multiple interpretations as to what is occurring in the scene presented as the artist furthermore highlights the absurdity of human existence.
“Set in fictitious landscapes, these flickering vignettes involve characters cast from both the leisure class and the fringes of society. Comedy and tragedy mingle with satire and nonsense in ambiguous, yet suggestive narratives that call attention to the absurdity of human existence. Only the landscape backdrops are harmonious and well-ordered. Nature – beautiful and indifferent – offers no comment on the tragedies unfolding in the discordant and chaotic world of humanity.” – Jennifer R A Campbell
Brentwood Arts Exchange is located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD.