Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas: The Writing on the Wall


LAND is pleased to present Hank Willis Thomas and Dr.Baz Dreisinger’s The Writing on the Wall, a multi-site wheatpaste campaign in partnership with Kayne Griffin.

The Writing on the Wall is a shape-shifting collaboration between professor and activist Dr. Baz Dreisinger, artist Hank Willis Thomas, and a growing list of design and production partners including Openbox, MASS Design and Chemistry Creative. 

As an artwork made from essays, poems, letters, stories, diagrams and notes written by people in prison around the world, it is a potent visual intervention. It its fullest form it debuted on the High Line in NYC, the most trafficked public park in the World. LAND is pleased to partner with Hank Willis Thomas and Dr. Baz Dreisinger to bring The Writing on the Wall to Los Angeles spread across its various neighborhoods. 

The Writing on the Wall is housed within the fabric of the radically imaginative justice work of the Incarceration Nations Network (INN): a global network and think tank that supports, instigates and popularizes innovative prison reform efforts around the world. With 101 partners spanning every continent and more than 50 countries, INN uses The Writing on the Wall as an anchorage point and artistic soapbox for justice partners, believing in the power of the visual to emphasize creative approaches to justice.

In response to the global pandemic dire impact on the carceral population, The Writing On the Wall transformed its 1,200 square foot installation into a digital version that took over cityscapes. By partnering with local projection collectives, the artwork was featured guerilla-style on “justice” buildings (i.e. jails & courts) and iconic sites in New York City, Washington DC, Columbus OH, Mexico City, Chicago, IL and Boise, ID. This transformation also includes the writings wheat pasted in neighborhoods across the US–featuring QR codes taking people to Incarceration Nations Network’s information packed website, TWOTW’s gorgeous site and/or the episodes of Incarceration Nations: A Global Docuseries–as well as as a preview in drive-in movie theaters.