Bruce Jackson (b. 1936), Diane in the Rock's Yards, 1992; photograph; Courtesy of the artist

Bruce Jackson Being There: Diane in the Rock's Yards

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Throughout the run of Being There: Bruce Jackson Photographs 1962-2010, the artist is sharing some of the stories behind his photographs.Being There is on view until June 16, 2013. The catalog accompanying the exhibition is available at The Museum Store at the Burchfield Penney.


A few years ago, Diane Christian and I decided to bring our 1979 book, Death Row, up to date. That book was about men under sentence of death in Texas. We thought we'd find out what had happened to everyone we'd talked to in the interim. We found a lot of information online, but Texas wouldn't let us back into the prison to visit or to talk to anybody. The official in charge of such visitations wouldn't answer our emails or take our telephone calls. Death Row in Texas is far more wretched a place than when we worked there in 1979, and they're not about to let outsiders see how awful things are. Texas is not alone: other than Louisiana, most American prison systems won't let outsiders in, especially outsiders with cameras. The only prison I've gotten to photograph in the past 30 years, in fact, was Alcatraz, and that is because it is no longer a prison but a national park. Yeah, a national park, like Zion or Big Bend or places like that. This photo is Diane walking across the Rock's yard in 1992.

-Bruce Jackson