Please join us for an free Artist Talk (SEMAC Capstone Event) at 5 pm on Friday, March 22, where Paul will present on his grant project. Followed by a reception from 6-8 pm; refreshments will be served.
Cell Persona: Incarceration’s Impact on Black Lives
by Paul Briggs
March 21 – May 11, 2019
By addressing the impact of incarceration on black lives, Cell Persona draws attention to an aspect of society that prevents the world from reaching Utopia and the “restless yearning for a more livable, just, and meaningful world.” Indeed, Cell Persona is about the far psychological and civic reach of incarceration into the lives of persons and their families’ ability to participate in democratic life even after incarceration. The disenfranchisement of blacks due to incarceration is what Michelle Alexander explores in her book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”
My cells discover the fact that disproportionately black persons populate our prisons and the cell reaches beyond its interior. Again, the exploration is two-fold in exploring the reach beyond the actual cell and the reach of incarceration beyond an individual’s prison sentence. The forms dramatize both the reach of incarceration but primarily my own personal, emotional, experience of working with families with incarnated loved ones. Under the present laws a literal felon label and a cell mentality becomes part of the life of freed persons and their families perpetually.
Preceding the Artist Reception on Friday, March 22, Briggs will lead a Capstone Event at 5 pm discussing the ideas he explored in his grant project.