The Link Between Art and Injustice

© Daniel Bolick

CAN WE ALWAYS RELY ON EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY AND MEMORY as part of our criminal justice system? The number of wrongfully convicted persons says otherwise.

The people who serve time for crimes they did not commit demonstrates how mistaken identification hinders justice and forever alters the lives of those convicted.

Two artists who document the exonerated form part of a new exhibition, Resurrected: The Innocence Portraits, opening at the The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The exhibit coincides with the first international Innocence Network Conference on wrongful conviction.

Included in the exhibition are the portraits of exonerees by Daniel Bolick and the photographs of Taryn Simon.

The men in Bolick’s portraits served 203 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Bolick’s paintings humanize what would otherwise be another statistic.

© Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon’s project from 2003, The Innocents examines the role of photography as a misused tool for meting out justice. Simon photographs subjects at the “scene of the crime” or the places where they were arrested.

See Daniel Bolick’s portraits at his official site. You can view Taryn Simon’s work here.

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