One of Vulture’s “6 New Books You Should Read This February.”
MacArthur fellows Reginald Dwayne Betts and Titus Kaphar present a stunning literary and artistic collaboration that confronts the abuses of the criminal justice system.
Throughout their award-winning careers, visual artist and filmmaker Titus Kaphar and poet, memoirist, and attorney Reginald Dwayne Betts have shed light on the violences of incarceration and the underexplored contradictions of American history. In Redaction, they unite their different mediums to expose the ways the legal system exploits and erases the poor and incarcerated from public consciousness.
First exhibited at MoMA PS1, the fifty “Redaction” prints layer Kaphar’s etched portraits of incarcerated individuals with Betts’s poetry, which uses the legal strategy of redaction to craft verse out of legal documents. Three prints are broken apart into their distinct layers, illuminating how the pair manipulated traditional engraving, printing, poetic, and redaction processes to reveal what is often concealed. This beautifully designed volume also includes additional artwork, poetry, and an introduction by MoMA associate director Sarah Suzuki. The result is an astonishing, powerful exploration of history, incarceration, and race in America.
Titus Kaphar’s paintings, sculptures, and installations have appeared in many institutions, including the Whitney Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.