Image credit: Julian Rowe
Private View: Thu 28 Sep, 16.00 - 17.30
Exhibition: Thu 28 Aug - Thu 4 Sep, 11.00-17.00
Extended opening on Thu 28 - Sun 31 until 19.30
Location: Brewery Tap, 53 Tontine St, CT20 1JR
I'd still like to see the Governor...
Sat 30 Aug - Thu 4 Sep, 11.00-17.00
The artists' mutual interest in social spaces, and spaces of containment in particular, is focussed here on two Victorian projects for the containment of the criminal underclass – the penitentiary and the prison hulk. The 19th century was a period in which starkly opposing philosophies of crime and punishment were vying for public acceptance. At one extreme, the view that criminality was inborn and incorrigible led to the hulk system and transportation; at the other, a belief that criminals could be redeemed through work, isolation, diet and the Bible produced the well-intentioned but often inhumane regimes of the Victorian penitentiaries. Many of the questions asked then are still unresolved today.
The resulting body of work contrasts Steph Goodger's massive images of blackened, rotting hulks, which she presents as cross-sectioned chaotic islands of despair suspended in an undefined space, with Julian Rowe's sublime penitentiaries - relentlessly geometrical universes of total surveillance and endless confinement.