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The Impossible Prison

The Impossible Prison was a group exhibition of 16 artists in the cells of the former Edwardian Police Station (which closed in 1984) at the Galleries of Justice Museum. It was loosely inspired by Michel Foucault’s seminal text, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975), and his co-leadership of the activist Prison Information Group in 1970s Paris. The themes were developed in a cross-disciplinary programme of lectures and workshops with Ashley Hunt, Lisa LeFeuvre, David Macey, Jonathan Rée, Ken Starkey, Eyal Weizman and Erwin James.

The Impossible Prison took place 31st October  - 14th December 2008 and was the fifth and final instalment of Histories of the Present, Nottingham Contemporary’s year-long pre-opening programme of exhibitions and events.Foucault was an underlying inspiration for this programme, and his influence became explicit with The Impossible Prison.  The artists included were Vito Acconci, Shaina Anand, Atelier Van Lieshout, Angela Bulloch, Chris Evans, Harun Farocki, Dan Graham, Group d’Information sur les Prisons, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Hirschhorn, Evan Holloway, Ashley Hunt, Elie Kagan, Multiplicity, Bruce Nauman, Tatiana Trouvé, Artur Zmijewski.  

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