Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, Untitled (from the Redaction project), 2019. Etching and silkscreen on paper. 22 x 30 inches.
Throughout their careers, visual artist and filmmaker Titus Kaphar and memoirist, poet and attorney Reginald Dwayne Betts have used their varied mediums to confront the abuses of the criminal justice system. The print portfolio The Redaction, their first artistic collaboration, advances this work by focusing on the ways that state and federal court systems exploit and erase the poor and incarcerated from public consciousness. The project draws inspiration and source material from the lawsuits filed by the Civil Rights Corps (CRC) on behalf of people incarcerated because of an inability to pay court fines and fees. Betts mobilizes the legal strategy of redaction to craft poetry out of their complaints while Kaphar uses printmaking techniques to etch portraits of these individuals under the redacted texts. Taking place at MoMA PS1 throughout the month of April, the exhibition marks the first-ever public installation of The Redaction, and seeks to create a platform for a multiplicity of conversations – of art, poetry, and practical legal questions – that can influence outcomes and reflect current conversations around the issue of criminal justice reform.
(Image courtesy Titus Kaphar Studio. Photo by Merik Goma.)