David Adler has been collecting prisoner made portraiture since 2006.

Adler’s work is very similar to Alyse Emdur‘s Prison Landscapes (readers will know Emdur is a favourite of mine.) But in fact, Adler and Emdur approach the visual culture and the act of collecting the photos very differently. I’ll be publishing an interview with Adler shortly, but to summarise, Emdur is thinking about social justice whereas Adler is thinking about the economics of the system. Both consider the painted backdrops as significant contributions to American artistic production.

Adler thinks of his work as a theoretically infinite, open-source project, that anyone could take on. Conversely, Emdur considers her presentations as collaboration with each of her subjects.

More to come.

Meanwhile, if you’re in NYC, Adler’s exhibition Prisoner Fantasies: Photos from the Inside is showing at the Clocktower Gallery in Lower Manhattan, until the end of August. Also, you can read a brief interview with Adler, by Harry Cheadle for VICE.

[Yes, the visual similarity between this post and the last was intentional.]
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