Jan Banning’s latest book is a multi-layered case study of the US Criminal Justice system and mass incarceration. In it he delves into a three decades old murder case in Georgia. On April 14, 1992, 22-year-old Christina Boyer was arrested for the murder of her toddler daughter Amber and sentenced to life in prison. Banning questions her guilt.
The book presents the results of his extensive research. Combining documentary as well as staged photos with texts, it unravels the role of the media, presents analyses by medical professionals, and gives Banning’s own visual interpretation of elements of the story. Besides, Banning invited the ‘subject’ of the project, Christina Boyer, to be an active participant in it. Boyer allowed Banning to disclose pages from her diaries and also gives viewers an insight into her inner world by writing her associations with his photos from Georgia, thereby giving an impression of how such an incarceration influences one’s perception of the visual world.
Stylistically, the book contains references to film noir, 19th-century Romantic landscapes and 17th Century Vanitas still lifes. It poses deep questions about about objectivism versus subjectivism. In the end, the audience is challenged to judge for themselves. The entirety of the artistic visual interpretations and documentation collected presents a major political story in a unique way.