February 18–April 14, 2022
Beard & Weil Galleries, Watson Fine Arts
Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Perspectives on Mass Criminalization is focused on prison abolition, and its title is borrowed from Angela Davis’s 2015 book. The work in the exhibition centers the perspectives of people who have been or are currently incarcerated. Each of the exhibited projects allows us to see the impact the carceral system has on individuals, offering the viewer a chance to reevaluate their perspective on the dehumanizing and harmful effects of incarceration. But each of these projects also offers solutions in the form of information, actions, ways to connect, and alternatives to incarceration.
Ultimately, through the drawings, video performances, photography, writing, and gardens, the exhibition encourages visitors to ask “What would a future without prisons look like? What will it take to get there?”
Photo Requests from Solitary – Laurie Jo Reynolds, Jeanine Oleson and Jean Casella
Chicago 400 Alliance – housing banishment and homelessness activists
Mirror/Echo/Tilt – performance and pedagogical project with artists Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, and Sable Elyse Smith
Milo Imagines the World by children’s book author Matt de la Peña.
and illustration by Brian Downey