Spring 2023: We Are All Criminals
In March 2023 through the summer, check out the SEEN@WAM installation on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus—where currently incarcerated artists are collaborating with artists, activists, and academics in the community to explore issues of incarceration, isolation, healing, and coming home:
JEFF AND KORINA BARRY: podcast, sculpture, and painting. Raw, poetic, and personal dialogue, a dissection of American life—past, present, future—behind and beyond bars, with a focus on Black and Indigenous experiences and voices. Within this lens, Jeff and Korina will explore the epigenetics of trauma and pathways to healing.
SARITH AND CARL FLINK: recorded memoir and choreographic response. Driven by the narratives of Sarith’s memories of life in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge as well as incarceration in the U.S., this will examine the restrictions of life in a cage—war, a genocidal labor camp, refugee camp, prison, pandemic, and the lifelong effects of trauma on the body, spirit, and mind.
FONG AND KEVIN YANG: poetry and film. Exploring themes of loss and longing, isolation and death, funerals and Hmong ritual, and what is needed to begin to heal—particularly when the space to do so has not been granted—and how culture and language can create both distance and dynamic connection.
B: recorded poetry and sculpture. Exploring the deleterious effects of prison’s cacophony on one’s physiology and psychology. Previous lettering and poetry project in collaboration with DANNY MCCARTHY CLIFFORD.
FRESH and ERIN SHARKEY: belonging and loss. Two replica prison property bins, one holding a tree, the other, belongings the artists were unable to take with them. Additional reflections on loved ones lost to mass incarceration and the criminalization of addiction, as well as the disconnect and isolation caused by prison and illness.
This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
In fall 2020, We Are All Criminals teamed up with WAM to present a virtual event—created in partnership with CEDAR PUBLIC ACCESS CHANNEL, Cedar Artist Collective member RITIKA GANGULY. The video event was recorded live on Oct. 29 and is available as part of WAM On Demand via the Weisman’s YouTube channel.