50 minutes | Apr 1, 2016

04 Dread Scott Makes Revolutionary Art to Propel History Forward

An interview with the artist Dread Scott. It is not every artist whose examination of the past speaks so urgently to the present moment of now; Dread Scott’s work does. It is not every artist whose work provokes the United States Congress to pass legislation in response to it; Dread Scott’s work did that before he finished art school. It is not every artist who demands so much of his audience and yet Scott is an artist uniquely interested in audience participation and reaction. In a wide-ranging conversation, Dennis Trainor, Jr and Dread Scott discuss the Proper Way to Display the US flag, burning money on wall street – literally, white supremacy racism the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide and a tangential conversation about Hamilton the musical and whether that work is functioning on reform or revolutionary plane. Artist bio Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. He first received national attention in 1989 when his art became the center of controversy over its use of the American flag. President G. H.W. Bush declared his artwork What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag? “disgraceful” and the entire US Senate denounced this work and outlawed it when they passed legislation to “protect the flag.” To oppose this law and other efforts which would effectively make patriotism compulsory, he, along with three other protesters, burned flags on the steps of the US Capitol. This resulted in a Supreme Court case and a landmark First Amendment decision.   His art has been exhibited at the MoMA PS1, the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, The Walker Art Center and at the Pori Art Museum in Pori, Finlandas well as on view in America is Hard to See, the Whitney Museum’s inaugural exhibition in their new building. In 2012, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) presented his performance Dread Scott: Decision as part of their 30th Anniversary Next Wave Festival. In 2008, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts presented Dread Scott: Welcome to America. Winkleman Gallery and Cristin Tierney in New York have exhibited recent work and his public sculptures have been installed at
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