BLACK IS THE DAY, BLACK IS THE NIGHT

2009-2016

Black is the Day, Black is the Night is a conceptual exploration into the many facets of human identity using notions of time, accumulation, memory and distance through personal correspondence with men serving life and death row sentences in some of the most maximum security prisons in the U.S., all of which had served between 13-26 years at point of contact.

"As viewers, we are invited to puzzle over an assortment of clues, including reenactments, exhibits submitted for our considerations, partial evidence, and statements both leading and misleading. The work is elegiac and provocative, asking the viewer to engage above and beyond a simple, cursory viewing of these images." - Leslie A. Martin, Aperture Foundation

"Photographer Amy Elkins offers an unflinching contemplation of capital punishment and identity in a culture of mass incarceration." - Mass Appeal

"Elkins ponders the psychological impact incarceration has on inmates, using blurry and pixelated photos to imagine how life on the inside shapes and distorts an inmates’ perception of reality and awareness." WIRED Magazine

"Rather than a documentary angle, Elkins has chosen artifacts and scenes that reveal both the preponderance of time on death row (enough time to become a poet, learn calligraphy, read voraciously) and it’s corrosive qualities as it ineffably moves these prisoners toward the end. It’s a tough project, but one that reveals Elkins’ profound sensitivity to the shades of gray in this potentially black-and-white issue." - Arts and Culture, TX

"Elkins’ imagery of the darkness in the lives and deaths of these men may be morose, but optimism is intrinsic to her determination to see the world from their perspective." - Artillery Magazine