• Degrees of Visibility
    Ashley Hunt
    Bolivar Art Gallery, University of Kentucky, Lexington
    Oct 04, 2018 to Oct 27, 2018
    Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont
    Sep 14, 2019 to Dec 06, 2019
    Ashley Hunt

Ashley Hunt, 12,402 men and women, mainly U.S. Citizens, at $455 million per year, Cook County Jail, Chicago, Illinois, 2010–18. Courtesy of the artist.

Degrees of Visibility takes on the politics of erasure and camouflage that allow mass incarceration to flourish, through photography, text, and community partnership. Starting with an unprecedented photographic survey of the architecture and landscapes of mass incarceration, the project juxtaposes photographs of over 250 prisons across all 50 US states and territories with histories, anecdotes and numbers—presenting a meditation on race, vision, photography, history, language, and space. Following ongoing research into the post-war shift toward camouflage in contemporary prison architecture, each facility is photographed from a publicly available point of view, seeing how it is situated among architecture, land uses, and with varying degrees of visibility and concealment from public knowledge. The exhibition includes a national tour that partners with local organizations in each city and offers a platform for organizing, workshops, and discussion.

Ashley Hunt is a visual artist, writer, and teacher who has dedicated the bulk of his professional career to documenting the expansion of the US prison system and its effects on communities, as well as individual and collaborative projects that engage physical and social movement, the exercise of political power, and the disciplinary boundaries that separate our art worlds from the larger worlds in which they sit. Spanning installation, documentary, and community-based collaborations, Hunt's works have been presented in grassroots community centers, churches, prisons, and alongside activist campaigns, and at The Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, Project Row Houses, Tate Modern, Foto Forum Santa Fe and the Center for Political Education in San Francisco. Hunt completed his bachelor’s degree at University of California Irvine, his master’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and was a fellow in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Hunt lives in Los Angeles where he directs the program in Photography and Media at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).