Four performance stills from I Am Not a Man: (i) still 60; (ii) still 68; (iii) still 114; (iv) still 220

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  • Provenance

    The Artist

  • Exhibited

    Houston, Contemporary Art Museum Houston; New York, Studio Museum in Harlem; Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, San Francisco, Yerba Buena Art Center, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, November 17, 2012 - October 11, 2015 (another example exhibited)
    Opa-locka, FL, The Arc, Through the Eyes of Others, December 1 - December 12, 2015 (another example exhibited)
    Warsaw, Poster Museum at Wilanów, 25th International Poster Biennale in Warsaw: The Poster Remediated, June 12 - September 25, 2016
    Copenhagen, The Center for Art Migration Politics, Decolonizing Appearance, September 21, 2018 - March 30, 2019 (another example exhibited)

  • Catalogue Essay

    DREAD SCOTT
    Born 1965, Rochester, NY
    Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

    1993 Independent Study Program, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
    1989 BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL

    Selected honors: The MAP Fund (2016); Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2014); Artist-in-Residence, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn New York (2014); Art Matters Grant (2013); Franklin Furnace Fund Grant (2009)
    Selected museum exhibitions and performances: Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Rosenberg Gallery, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York; Bowery Poetry Club, New York, New York; MoCADA, Brooklyn, New York; and Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
    Selected public collections: Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; Laura Lee Brown, Steve Wilson Collection, International Contemporary Art Foundation, Louisville, KY; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

    Dread Scott is known for his provocative and frequently controversial work that illuminates the realities of oppression and exclusion. His 1989 work What is the Proper Way to Display a US Flag? attracted national attention and sparked massive protests about the sacredness and inviolability of the symbol of America. Never shying from controversy, Scott’s work has always tackled contentious topics with bravery and tact.

    For the piece I Am Not a Man, 2009, the artist wandered the streets in Harlem, New York wearing a sign that read the title of the work. According to Scott, “throughout the walk, action in the performance evoked the humiliation that is visited on Black people and the negation that defines our existence.” The performance – which took place on September 9, 2009 – alludes to 1968 Memphis Sanitation workers strike by inverting its iconic sign ‘I Am a Man’. Further, by repudiating the assumption that the United States has entered a ‘post-racial’ era, “I Am Not a Man resides in the uncomfortable space between a race-free fantasy world and the lived experience of millions.”

    The focus of Scott’s work can perhaps best be comprehended by understanding his name. His professional name carries a myriad of interpretations: it evokes Dred Scott, the black slave who filed a lawsuit for his freedom during the 1850s while also referring to Rastafarian dreadlocks and bringing up the concept of dread. As he explained, “if people see me or my work with dread, if they are threatened by it, well, those people who want to exploit society should be threatened by art.”

  • Artist Bio

    Dread Scott

    American • 1965

    Dread Scott is known for his provocative and frequently controversial work that illuminates the realities of oppression and exclusion. His 1989 work What is the Proper Way to Display a US Flag? attracted national attention and sparked massive protests about the sacredness and inviolability of the symbol of America. Never shying from controversy, Scott’s work has always tackled contentious topics with bravery and tact. 

    For the piece I Am Not a Man, 2009, the artist wandered the streets in Harlem, New York wearing a sign that read the title of the work. According to Scott, “throughout the walk, action in the performance evoked the humiliation that is visited on Black people and the negation that defines our existence.” The performance – which took place on September 9, 2009 – alludes to 1968 Memphis Sanitation workers strike by inverting its iconic sign ‘I Am a Man’. Further, by repudiating the assumption that the United States has entered a ‘post-racial’ era, “I Am Not a Man resides in the uncomfortable space between a race-free fantasy world and the lived experience of millions.”

    The focus of Scott’s work can perhaps best be comprehended by understanding his name. His professional name carries a myriad of interpretations: it evokes Dred Scott, the black slave who filed a lawsuit for his freedom during the 1850s while also referring to Rastafarian dreadlocks and bringing up the concept of dread. 

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Four performance stills from I Am Not a Man: (i) still 60; (ii) still 68; (iii) still 114; (iv) still 220

pigment print
each 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x 76.2 cm.)
Executed in 2009, each work is number 4 from an edition of 5.

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AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN

New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019