Exhibit XXVI

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1 December 2008 - 20 March 2009

Dedicated to all who have ever been unjustly incarcerated.

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Behind Bars I

      The story of this, the longest documentary project of my photographic career, began on 24 August 2002. On that day, a decommissioning ("Razor Wire Cutting") ceremony was held on the grounds of the former prison site at Lorton, Virginia, transferring jurisdiction of the property from the District of Columbia Department of Corrections to Fairfax County, Virginia, via the United States General Accounting Office. 
    At that ceremony and the accompanying  tour of the facility, I became fascinated with the graffiti and other artifacts left behind, mostly by former prisoners but also by former members of the prison staff, and so I hurriedly began photographing what I could in the limited time allowed by the escorted tour. I became so obsessed with documenting on film the existing prison ephemera which might be lost in the subsequent development of the site for alternative uses, that I sought, and received permission to continue documenting, in a less hurried and more comprehensive fashion, the many and varied expressions of incarceration throughout

Behind Bars. Youth Correctional Facility, District of Columbia Department of Corrections, Lorton, Virginia.  2003 Charles Albert Huckins

the prison site.
    There are a number of individuals to acknowledge for helping to make this project possible, among them: Winfred Taylor, with Wackenhut Security, whose key suggestion got the ball rolling; Marcia E. Hanson, formerly with the Supervisor's Office of the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County, whose support and influence opened the right doors; William R. Lipscomb, with Tecumseh Professional Associates, and his staff managing the Lorton Project site, particularly Lawrence Starcher and David Helmandollar, for their patience with and trust in my activities on site; and latterly, John M. Howard, with the Fairfax County Facilities Management Division, and Leanna Hush O'Donnell, with the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, for their interest and cooperation in seeing this project to its completion.
    Over the course of six years, I managed to make a little more than a thousand images at the Lorton prison site, approximately one-quarter of which will be exhibited on this web site over the next year or so, under the title of "Behind Bars". Incidentally, this is the first exhibit on this decade-long web site to display at least some images in color. More about the project as space permits in subsequent installments.

 Caution: Some images in this exhibit may not be considered suitable for viewing by children.

 

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