Home Art Art Galleries Undoing Time: Art and Histories of Incarceration" opens Sept. 10 at the ASU Art Museum

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“Undoing Time: Art and Histories of Incarceration” considers the foundational roots of confinement from an art historical perspective to better understand the fact that today’s mass incarceration crisis is centuries in the making. The exhibition explores how images throughout time contribute to entrenched cultural beliefs associated with today’s carceral system. The exhibition includes 12 never-before-seen, commissioned artworks from contemporary artists whose work combines history, research and storytelling in material form. Miki Garcia, director of the ASU Art Museum, says, “This exhibition was inspired by filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s strategy in her documentary ‘13th,’ which uses history as a lens to understand present-day phenomena and as a way to trace how legacies of the past persist to this day.” 

“Undoing Time” is organized by Miki Garcia, director; Heather Sealy Lineberry, curator emeritus; Matthew Villar Miranda, ASU-LACMA Fellow; and Julio César Morales, senior curator, and features artists, Carolina Aranibar-Fernández, Juan Brenner, Raven Chacon, Sandra de la Loza, Ashley Hunt, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Michael Rohd, Paul Rucker, Xaviera Simmons, Stephanie Syjuco, Vincent Valdez and Mario Ybarra Jr. The artists in the exhibition invest in community collaboration, work in an expansive range of media and rethink traditional archival research to consider how artistic expression reveals the underlying logics of criminality and correction. For the first time in ASU Art Museum’s history, an exhibition will engage all galleries, dedicating the entire museum to this one large-scale exhibition and its public programming.

“Undoing Time: Art and Histories of Incarceration” is generously supported by the Art for Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. 

The ASU Art Museum's presentation of “Undoing Time: Art and Histories of Incarceration” is made possible with additional support from the ASU Art Museum's International Residency Program and the Windgate Foundation Endowment, Olga Viso and Cameron Gainer, Cloth and Flame, the Flinn Foundation and La Bohemia. 


All programming is free and open to the public. Please RSVP for each program you are interested in attending. https://asuartmuseum.asu.edu/programs-and-events As of 8/27/2021

Sept. 10, 2021

Opening Celebration

10–11 a.m.

ASU Art Museum

Join ASU Art Museum leadership, curators and exhibiting artists for the unveiling of “Undoing Time: Art and Histories of Incarceration.” Meet and hear from those involved and get a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibition to hear unique perspectives from the artists and curators. 

Sponsored by La Bohemia

Sept. 10, 2021 

“Undoing Time: Art and Histories of Incarceration”: Artist Panel 

6 p.m.


Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XYy2B4B0S0SIEapcxMO8rA

A lively conversation with the artists and curators, this will be an opportunity to learn more about the artistic process, various themes and pertinent questions raised by this urgent exhibition.

Sept. 21, 2021

Abolition 101 

6 p.m.

Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VRRAEkGXRGS5ABzKDOja_w 

A public conversation with Arizona-based grassroots organization Mass Liberation AZ, this workshop and discussion addresses the future of abolition, dream and practice. This event is free and open to the public and centers on student engagement and interaction.

This program is organized in collaboration with the ASU Art Museum, Performance in the Borderlands, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and Social Transformation Lab.

Sept. 22, 2021

Journalists Reporting on Justice: Who Pays the Price for Righting Wrongs? 

Laura Gómez: Reporter, AZ Mirror

3 p.m.

Bateman Physical Science Building F-WIng Room 173

This “Seeking Justice” in Arizona program is organized by the ASU School of Social Transformation’s Fall Lecture Series.


Sept. 30, 2021 

Undoing Time Roundtable: The Curatorial Perspective 

ASU Art Museum Director Miki Garcia, Senior Curator Julio Cesar Morales, Curator Emeritus Heather Sealy Lineberry and ASU/LACMA Fellow Matthew Villar Miranda

6 p.m.

ASU Art Museum

Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/j/89698018171

Join us for a guided tour of the exhibition by the curatorial team who organized this project. Afterward, participate in a roundtable discussion on the research and processes that brought this exhibition together and learn more about the artists and about the artwork on view.

Oct. 13, 2021

Building a Justice System Where NO One is Left Behind

January Contreras: Founder, Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services (ALWAYS)

3 p.m.

Bateman Physical Science Building F-Wing Room 173

This “Seeking Justice” in Arizona program is organized by the ASU School of Social Transformation’s Fall Lecture Series


Oct. 19, 2021

Arts and Liberation

6 p.m.

ASU Art Museum

Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yiqOTzK9SD-A43HzNTxMiw 

Participate in a public conversation about the unique contribution of artistic and cultural practice toward a vision for social change. Hear from grassroots organizers for Mass Liberation; artists Sandra de la Loza, Carolina Aranibar-Fernández and Xaviera Simmons; and faculty who explore the ways symbolic and creative interventions can shape imaginations for what is possible.

This program is organized in collaboration with the ASU Art Museum, Performance in the Borderlands, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and Social Transformation Lab.

Oct. 28, 2021

Undoing Time Roundtable: Mass Incarceration and Immigrant Policing in Arizona: Voices of Resistance

Dr. Leah Sarat, associate professor of religious studies in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, and local activist organizations 

6 p.m.

ASU Art Museum

Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/j/89698018171

Dr. Leah Sarat will lead a discussion about the struggle for immigrant rights in Arizona and the ties between incarceration, immigrant detention, and police violence in the state, with attention to cross-movement organizing and strategies for community healing. She will be joined by representatives from local activist organizations, including Puente and others.

Nov. 13, 2021

We Occupy/We Dis-cover

Gregory Sale, associate professor in the School of Art, and Julio César Morales, senior curator at ASU Art Museum

1–4 p.m.

ASU Art Museum

In response to and part of the exhibition, a group of community justice scholars, artists and ASU graduate students will take over the museum to unseat, dis-locate and de-center notions of safety, imprisonment and control. Visit us and participate in a day of interventions, conversations and performances. After engaging in this transformative community work focused on mass incarceration, participants will leave with full hearts and minds. Organizers of this event are enrolled in ASU School of Art’s Art and Justice course, (ARA 591) taught by Gregory Sale and Julio César Morales.


Jan. 20, 2022

“Undoing Time” Roundtable 

Natalie Diaz, Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Associate Professor

6 p.m. 

ASU Art Museum

Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/j/89698018171

Stay tuned for more information.

Feb. 3, 2022

Undoing Time Roundtable: Critical Witnessing

Vice Provost and Professor Tiffany Lopez

6 p.m.

ASU Art Museum

Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/j/89698018171

Join Vice Provost and Professor Tiffany Lopez in a roundtable discussion about “critical witnessing.” This is a term Dr. Lopez coined to describe the process of stepping into a space of personal and/or social transformation as the direct result of experiencing a work of art that clarifies that one is part of the continuum of the work. Critical witnessing is the experience of seeing a work of art and realizing you do not want to directly participate in or indirectly perpetuate the history of violence and trauma in an artwork. The experience of the work brings a shift from passive viewer to active witness with critical awareness, emerging toward a path of change.

Feb. 8, 2022

Dreaming Beyond the Carceral State

Ashley Hunt and Juan Brenner with organizers from Mass Liberation

6 p.m.

Virtual: https://asu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PoSgz6e2SemtJuLQN1fq7w 

What would it look like to live in a world without prisons? Join artists Ashley Hunt and Juan Brenner, with organizers from Mass Liberation, for a public conversation considering possibilities for justice and fairness that do not include a prison system.

This program is organized in collaboration with the ASU Art Museum, Performance in the Borderlands, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and Social Transformation Lab.

While at the museum, stop by the Artists’ Workshop at the ASU Art Museum to create, reflect and start a conversation. 

Also on View: 

“Journey Towards Healing” in the Art in Focus Gallery 

Sept. 10–Feb. 13, 2021

The artworks in this gallery respond to the exhibition on view, “Undoing Time: Art and Histories of Incarceration,” by presenting images that can change how we view and imagine incarceration. Instead of focusing on images of oppression, black and white stripes or barbed wires, the curators center the viewer’s focus on images of nature, renewal, connection and recovery. 

The exhibition is organized by Mary-Beth Buesgen, curator of the Ceramics Research Center Collection and Archives; Sarah Kelly, Windgate Curator of Contemporary Craft and Design; Julio César Morales, senior curator; Brittany Corrales, curator; Matthew Villar Miranda, ASU-LACMA Curatorial Fellow; and Diem Lanakai, Windgate Curatorial Assistant.      

In the community:

"Women of Perryville Prison Art Exhibit" 

Olney Gallery at Trinity Cathedral

M- F 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in September 2021

This unusual exhibit features the artistic talents of women who are currently incarcerated at (or recently released from) Perryville Women’s Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. The art represents a range of mediums and skills, and the artists are mostly self-taught, but they all share a passion for art. This passion drives them to make the best of their situation and limited supplies in order to create and express themselves.

The opening night reception will be part of the First Friday Art Walk in Downtown Phoenix on Sept. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. (free admission). The Olney Gallery is a contemporary art gallery at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, which includes a courtyard labyrinth. Free parking garage, and Light Rail Stop, at 100 W. Roosevelt Street. Gallery hours are Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Manny Burruel, gallery director, 623-826-9912.