Architectures for Art and Crime

Art, architecture, and incarceration collide in essays on prison design from the Panopticon to the Golden Gulag.

As unprecedented hunger strikes continue at Guantánamo Bay and in California federal prisons, two recent features on Places explore the politics and aesthetics of prison design.

In an essay adapted from his book Corrections and Collections, Joe Day compares the proliferation of American prisons and museums since the 1960s and finds intriguing parallels in how institutional architectures have responded to cultural movements from Minimalism to post-Millenialism. Art and crime collide in buildings from Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon through Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim to contemporary work by Peter Zumthor, Rem Koolhaas and others.

In Geographies of Detention, adapted from an exhibition at the California Museum of Photography, Catherine Gudis and Molly McGarry present art and documentary work, by Sandow Birk, Alyse Emdur, Richard Ross and the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, that investigates prison landscapes.

Full Story: Corrections and Collections

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