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Prison Landscapes
Alyse Emdur

Prison Landscapes
Alyse Emdur
Four Corners Books


176 pages
165 x 235 mm
ISBN 9780956192868




Prison Landscapes is a monumental collection of photographs of prison inmates representing themselves in front of visiting room backdrops. Such backdrops, often painted by talented inmates, are used within the prisons as portrait studios. As inmates and their visitors pose for photos in front of these idealised landscapes they pretend, for a brief moment, that they are someplace else. The photographs are given to these visitors as gifts to take home and remember the faces of their loved ones while they are incarcerated. Prison Landscapes explores this little known and largely physically inaccessible genre of painting and portraiture seen only by inmates, visitors, and prison employees. Created specifically for escape and self-representation, the idealized paintings of tropical beaches, fantastical waterfalls, mountain vistas, and cityscapes invite sitters to perform fantasies of freedom.


About the artist
Alyse Emdur (b. NJ, USA 1983) works with photography, video, research, social engagement, and drawing. Her work has been exhibited at Printed Matter and the Lambent Foundation in New York; the University of Texas Visual Arts Center in Austin; Bezalel University in Tel Aviv, Israel; the Lab in San Francisco; La Montagne Gallery in Boston; Laura Bartlett Gallery in London, England; Spacibar in Oslo, Norway; In Situ in Paris, France, and Kunststichting Artis in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

About the Publisher
Four Corners Books seeks to bring art history to life. Our aim is to explore unfamiliar corners of visual history, share the stories we find, and publish them as well as we can. Run by Richard Embray and Elinor Jansz, we’ve been making books since 2003. Our aim is to create a space to reflect on artists and creative outputs from our recent past that have often been overlooked. It’s our mission to champion this creativity, in an accessible way.

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