For a short run, Prison Obscura is on show at the University of Michigan. We installed in a marathon effort this week and opened yesterday. You have until 24th September to catch it!

Most proud of my installation of Brown/Coleman v Plata evidence images (above). The gallery has huge front-facing windows, I had 400+ pages of court documents!

Official installation shots are to be made next week, but I wanted to get this announcement up.


I’m also talking today:



Friday, September 11, 1:00 – 4:00pm

Curator Talk followed by symposium Carcereal Visions: The Prison as Image/Object/Limit. A round table discussion featuring UM faculty Amanda Alexander, Ashley Lucas, Carol Jacobsen, Reuben Miller, Ruby Tapia, Heather Thompson, Isaac Wingfield.


Duderstadt Center Gallery
North Campus
2281 Bonisteel Blvd
Ann Arbor
MI 48109
Hours: Noon – 6pm, Mon-Fri, Noon – 5pm, Sun.


Alyse Emdur’s collected letters and prison visiting- room portraits from across the nation and Robert Gumpert’s recorded audio stories from within the San Francisco jail system provide an opportunity to see, read and listen to subjects in the contexts of their incarceration. Juvenile and adult prisoners in different workshops led by Steve Davis, Mark Strandquist and Kristen S. Wilkinsperform for the camera, reflect on their past, describe their memories, and represent themselves through photography.

Prison Obscura moves from these intimate portrayals of life within the prison system to more expansive views of legal and spatial surveillance in such works as Josh Begley’s manipulated Google Maps’ API code and Paul Rucker’s animated videos, which offer a “celestial” view of the growth of the prison system.


Installation shot of Paul Rucker’s Proliferation


U-Mich is the fifth venue for Prison Obscura, after outings at Haverford, Scripps, Rutgers and Parsons.


Prison Obscura is a traveling exhibition made possible with the support of the edits John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Havorford College, Haverford, Pennslyvania.

It is sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Departments of Women’s Studies and English, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Prison Creative Arts Project, Institute for the Humanities and the LSA Dean’s Office.

Also, the U-Mich campus is architecturally trippy. Here, the Lurie Tower which wouldn’t be out of place on a sci-fi movie set.



Contact Ruby Tapia, Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies, at rtapia@umich.edu, or Kathi Reister, Gallery Coordinator at kreister@umich.edu