(Minneapolis, MN): 1969 – 1970’s. An incredible archive of approx. 4000 images (including duplicates), photographs, (both in black and white and in colour), transparencies and negatives of those incarcerated in Minnesota State correctional facilities including the Minnesota State Prison, Minnesota State Reformatory for Men, and the Minnesota Correctional Institution for Women. In some instances the reverse of the cards includes the inmates fingerprints or identification details and a description of the crimes which range from theft to manslaughter. The photographs themselves depict an amazing cast of characters that encourage a kind of voyeurism, which doesn’t always bring out the best in people. We look hard at their faces, calculating guilt or innocence. And then look harder. The images for the most part have captured the subject at their lowest or most vunerable and are undeniable in their authenticity. The images of the repeat offenders (of which there are many) serve as a catalogue of the human face and the things that can happen to it. An incredible archive of vernacular photography that transends its forensic roots as well as providing a kind of photo booth for the Minnesota underbelly.
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