In 2005, Alyse Emdur unearthed a photograph of herself posing in front of a tropical beach scene while visiting her older brother in prison. Since discovering this first portrait in her own family album, she invited hundreds of incarcerated individuals to send her photographs for inclusion in this collection.
Prison Landscapes gathers over 100 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 idealized landscapes they pretend, for a brief moment, that they are somewhere else.
Alyse Emdur was a winner of Printed Matter’s 2010 Awards for Artists, and this book was produced partially with those funds. Facebook invite here.