Throughout their careers, Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts have used visual art, film, poetry and the law to catalog and challenge the profound failures of the criminal justice system. We are pleased to announce their first artistic collaboration: The Redaction. Through portraiture and poetry, this new body of work gives voice to the men, women, and children caught up in the violence and intolerance of the current criminal justice system. For Kaphar and Betts, redaction unmasks the human suffering caused by the criminal justice system and uncovers the stories of people too frequently ignored by artists.
Through the juxtaposition of portraiture, poetry, and practical legal questions, The Redaction seeks to both reflect and influence the current conversation around criminal justice reform. Betts will use the legal strategy of redaction to create poetry out of civil rights complaints filed primarily by the Civil Rights Corps (CRC) against local and state governments. Kaphar will etch portraits of the individuals both directly and indirectly implicated in these complaints. Portraits in juxtaposition with the poetic redactions create an arresting image of the criminal justice system and encourage the public to both see and listen.
The Redaction will comprise a limited edition of folios created by Kaphar and Betts and a touring exhibition throughout the United States beginning in 2019. This project is supported by the Art for Justice Fund, an initiative founded by renowned art collector and philanthropist, Agnes Gund. The Fund aims to invest more than $100 million into strategic efforts to reform the criminal justice system over the next five years.