A message from the North Carolina Coalition for a Moratorium:
After seven months at Duke, Premeditated: Meditations on Capital Punishment will be closing on September 16, 2009. To celebrate the conclusion of this awe-inspiring exhibit at Duke, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Program in Latina/o Studies in the Global South, the Innocence Project at Duke Law School, the Duke Chapter of Amnesty International and the North Carolina Coalition for a Moratorium will be hosting an Exhibit Closing Reception on September 16, 2009. The reception will begin at 5 pm and will be held in the Fredric Jameson Gallery in the Friedl Building on Duke University’s East Campus.
Malaquias Montoya is a leading figure in the politically and socially conscious West Coast Chicano graphic arts movement. His work uses powerful images combined with relevant text panels to create compelling social criticism.
This gripping exhibit has been on display at Duke University since March of this year. The walls of the Fredric Jameson Gallery on the East Campus are lined with acrylic paintings, silk screens, and text panels illustrating issues related to the death penalty and penal institutions. These vivid paintings depict powerful imagery associated with lethal injection, the execution of the mentally ill, botched electrocutions, and the execution of the innocent. Montoya deals with his subject in such a disturbing and compelling fashion that no viewer could leave Montoya’s exhibit without being moved to reconsider such state sponsored atrocities.
Regarding this deeply compelling exhibit Montoya states:
“We have perfected the art of institutionalized killing to the degree that is has deadened our national, quintessentially human, response to death. I want to produce a body of work depicting the horror of this act.”
Special guests NC State Senator Floyd B. McKissick, Jr. and Darryl Hunt will open the reception. Surrounded by powerful images depicting capital punishment, Senator McKissick will discuss the recent struggle in North Carolina for the passage of the NC Racial Justice Act, legislation aimed at addressing racial discrimination in capital sentencing. Senator McKissick of Durham, NC was the Senate sponsor for the NC Racial Justice.
Darryl Hunt is a Winston-Salem native who found himself a victim of a broken system in North Carolina after being wrongfully convicted for a 1984 rape and murder. Only one juror’s doubt in Hunt’s trial prevented him from receiving a death sentence. After spending 19 years in prison, Hunt was exonerated. If he was serving on death row, he likely would have been executed before the misconduct leading to his conviction was uncovered. Darryl founded the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice and works to address flaws in the criminal justice system.
Please join us as we simultaneously celebrate the closing of this remarkable exhibit by Montoya and the passage of the NC Racial Justice Act.