“#Rehumanize for Albert Woodfox” and Book Launch for “The House that Herman Built”

“#Rehumanize, for Albert Woodfox” and Book Launch for “The House that Herman Built”
We are pleased to hold a concurrent book launch and opening reception for the exhibition “#Rehumanize, for Albert Woodfox,” with artists Jackie Sumell and Devin Reynolds, at the UNO-St. Claude Gallery. Both events will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, August 8.

“#Rehumanize” is an exhibition is lovingly dedicated to Albert Woodfox, one of a trio of male prison inmates who collectively became known as “The Angola 3.” Mr. Woodfox is the last to remain in prison of this group. He was assigned the prison number #72148 when he was just 23 years old. Now 68, Woodfox’s prison identification number corresponds with the commercial SKU number of an insulated thermos by Makita.

The artists state, “The exhibition is designed to provide the greater public understanding of the for-profit commercialized and dehumanized American prison system. It hopes to introduce conversations around the corporatization of incarceration, its inherent cruelties and ineffectiveness. If you allow profit driven institutions to be in charge of human capital, as was true with chattel slavery and is now true with in the Prison Industrial Complex, there is no possibility for justice, equality, or reform because the goals are not the same. 

“Through this exhibition, we ask you to imagine a world without prisons and to begin to dream of ways to better insure public safety and well-being without the need to simply dehumanize and punish. What can we learn from global best practices to re-educate and re-engage? Our hope is that you the viewer of any age will emerge moved to work for greater justice and beneficial reform.”

The House That Herman Built, written by Jackie Sumell and Herman Wallace (design by Imani Jacqueline Brown), documents the life of and legacy of Herman Wallace, who spent 43 years in solitary confinement for a crime he could not have possibly committed. He was released on October 1, 2013 and died on October 4, 2013. It includes essays by Soffiyah Elijah, Cecily McMillan, Dr Lisa Guenther, Amy Goodman, and more.
Jackie’s work with Herman has positioned her at the forefront of the campaign to end solitary confinement in the United States. An ardent public speaker, Ms. Sumell has lectured throughout the United States and in Germany at ZKM Karlsruhe. She was the keynote speaker for Loyola Law School’s Prisoner Advocacy Conference 2014. Ms. Sumell has appeared on Democracy Now, CNN, ABC News, and NPR. In the wake of Herman’s death she continues to speak about her work and the use of prolonged solitary confinement, and passionately presents an experienced vision to end its practice.
 
She received a B.S. from the College of Charleston, and M.F.A. from Stanford University. Ms. Sumell currently resides in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she continues to work on Herman’s House and several other advocacy based projects. She is the 2013 Soros Justice Fellow and a member of adjunct faculty at Dillard University.

The exhibition will run from August 8 through September 7, 2015.  Regular gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 12-5 p.m.  The gallery is located at 2429 St. Claude Ave. Our phone number is 504.948.6939. Please direct any questions to Kathy Rodriguez at klrodri2@uno.edu. Please see the UNO website (www.uno.edu) for an article here with further information on the exhibition.

An image from
An image from “#Rehumanize, for Albert Woodfox.” The artists state that prison numbers replace the identity of prisoners, paralleling the way numbers are used to identify commodities.
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