Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas: The Writing on the Wall

For resources and information, please visit twotw.org

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 Los Angeles. 

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. In 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 115 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 website filled with resources.

LAND’s 2022 exhibitions are made possible with lead support from the Offield Family Foundation and the Jerry and Terri Kohl Family Foundation. 

Additional support is provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, the LA Arts Recovery Fund, Abby Pucker, the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, Jay and Deanie Stein Foundation Trust, the Poncher Family Foundation, Brenda Potter, and LAND’s Nomadic Council.

You can find Hank Willis Thomas and Dr. Baz Dreisinger’s The Writing on the Wall’s posters in the following neighborhoods: Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles, Leimert Park, Little Tokyo, Echo Park, Mid-City, and Hollywood.

The Writing on the Wall is a collaboration between Hank Willis Thomas, Dr. Baz Dreisinger and Incarceration Nations Network (INN), a global network of justice re-imaginers and prison reformers.
TWOTW is presented in Los Angeles by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) in collaboration with Kayne Griffin, Los Angeles.




Photos by Bradley Hale