Punishing Spaces, Working Spaces: Artist in Residence at SCCJR
In this Leverhulme Trust funded residency (February – November 2012), photographer Jenny Wicks was in residence at SCCJR for ten months. This artistic-academic collaboration aims to bring into view the researcher rather than the sometimes sensational topics of their study. Placing the criminologist at the scene of the crime allows for the exploration of key boundaries: between innocent and guilty, researcher and researched, us and them, and how researchers’ use of criminological spaces resists and reproduces social hierarchies. This juxtaposes and blurs the separation of the mundane and the sensational, and reveals the details that give specific meaning to spaces – such as offices, prisons – which are otherwise characterised by their anonymity. Space and its arrangement is fundamental to social order and meaning, and this is amplified in the field of criminology where control is achieved and legality defined literally through the organisation of space. By tracing the activities of researchers through photography and soundscapes, the project has the potential to expose how the activity of studying crime and justice participates in giving meaning to these concepts. The residency produced a book by the artist, an exhibition and was featured in the Prison Photography blog; photography from this residency continues to inform visual criminology.
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