Establishing Justice: an Examination of the Criminal Justice System

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Leonard Freed, New Haven Panther Defense, New Haven, CT. USA, 1970, gelatin silver print, 6.5 x 9.75 in. Museum purchase with funds provided by Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, Fernando Barnuevo and Gloria Ybarra, Donald and Alice Lappe, and Daniel and Noemi Mattis.

CLAREMONT—“Establishing Justice” examines the criminal justice system by exploring the visual imagery of jails, courtrooms, and police departments and the defendants and prisoners who populate these spaces. These images consider the duality between societal detachment from judicial structures and candid vignettes of its harsh realities, while also questioning the assumption of guilt by racial stereotype, prompting viewers to consider how representational justice manifests itself within the spaces justice is enacted.

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June Wayne, Final Jury, 1954, 25 3/16 in. x 34 13/16 in. (64 cm. x 88.5 cm.), Lithograph on paper, Pomona College Collection. Gift of Charles Kline.

“Establishing Justice” also highlights where social and criminal justice collide, where citizens and government hold differing perceptions of what is just. In presenting these discordant points, and the explicit and implicit manifestations of the judicial system, this exhibition prompts a deeper consideration of the nuances and dimensionality of the system itself. “Establishing Justice” allows us to engage in a thoughtful analysis of the effectiveness, fairness, and civility of the justice system and to consider our role in how justice is defined and executed.

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Richard Ross, FBI Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force Interview Room, SF, CA 2004 from the series Architecture of Authority, 2004, 11 x 8 1/2 in. (28 x 22 cm), Chromogenic print on paper, Pomona College Collection. Transfer gift from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Gift of Susan Bower.

“Establishing Justice” is curated by D’Maia Curry, junior at Pomona College, under the mentorship of jill moniz, academic curator at the Pomona College Museum of Art. It is the fourth in a series of exhibitions developed by student curators under the Benton Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) at the Pomona College Museum of Art. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated brochure.

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Leonard Freed (1929 – 2006), New Haven Panther Defense, New Haven, CT. USA, 1970, 6 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (16.51 x 24.77 cm), Gelatin silver print, Pomona College Collection. Museum purchase with funds provided by Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, Fernando Barnuevo and Gloria Ybarra, Donald and Alice Lappe, and Daniel and Noemi Mattis.

Exhibition Programming

4:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 25, Pomona College Museum of Art

In an invitation to engage The Claremont Colleges and the larger Southern California community, Pomona College Museum of Art will host a dynamic conversation in concert with the opening of the exhibitions “Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs” with “tête-à-tête,” an installation curated by Thomas,” and Pomona curated “Establishing Justice.” Los Angeles artist Todd Gray, a principal at Shin Gray studios and prolific artist of a complex discursive practice, will moderate a conversation with Pomona College Art History Professor Phyllis Jackson and artist Lyle Ashton Harris, a Cal Arts alumni based in New York, whose works are on display in both exhibitions. Reception to follow in the Museum courtyard.

4:15 p.m., Thursday, Mar. 1 and Friday, Mar. 2, Pomona College

In conjunction with Spring 2018 exhibitions at the Pomona College Museum of Art, New York artist Alexandra Bell will give a talk on Thursday, March 1st and activate two of her Counternarratives installations on Friday, March 2nd at Pomona College (locations to be announced). Bell investigates the language used by The New York Times to codify otherness, violence and justice in the United States.

4:15 p.m., Thursday, Mar. 8, Pomona College Museum of Art, Pomona College

In conjunction with “Establishing Justice,” Professors Michelle Brown (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Laura Harris (Pitzer College) discuss justice, abolition and the intersections of art and social practice. They invite abolition groups from throughout the region as well as scholars who have made significant contributions and impact on carceral justice, to join the conversation. Reception to follow in the Museum courtyard.
TBD, Rose Hills Theater, Pomona College
Pomona College Museum of Art will screen Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th, about the erasure of black bodies and political agency through the criminal justice system. Following the film, there will be a Q&A with Janine Sherman Barrois, lead writer and producer for TNT’s Claws and winner of the NACCP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series in 2014 for Criminal Minds.  Barrois has been nominated for the Outstanding Writing categories eight times, and has won both the Madrid International Film Festival and the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival for Best Short in 2012. Reception to follow in the Museum courtyard.
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