David Taylor (b. 1965)
COMPLEX
2020
4K Single-channel Video with Sound

An important way the U.S.-Mexico border establishes its legitimacy is through the incarceration of migrants caught transgressing it. A nationwide network of private detention centers, owned by for-profit companies such as CoreCivic, Geo Group, and the Management and Training Corporation, have become central in managing the growing population of detained migrants. In COMPLEX, David Taylor foregrounds the circumstances of those detained. Combining aerial imagery of the sprawling architecture of private detention centers with revelatory interviews with formerly detained individuals, Taylor’s video makes concrete the horrific living conditions within private immigration prisons and frames them as an extension of border space. In addition to revealing how detainment is managed in the present day, COMPLEX uses economic data to demonstrate how private detention centers profit from the criminality of migration.


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Contingent Perimeters is curated by Alexis Herrera. This exhibition is supported by the Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch fund at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. It was developed as part of the Guest Instagram Curator Program. To see the Instagram exhibition and learn more, please click here.