Renowned artist Dread Scott to speak on career, creative practice and social justice

1st March 2016
Dread Scott

Dread Scott in the performance piece, “On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide” (2014).

By Steven Krolak — (NEW ALBANY, Ind.) Renowned multidisciplinary artist Dread Scott will speak to a campus audience on his career and artistic practice spanning three decades at a special lecture on March 7 in the Hoosier Room East.

Scott’s works in performance, installation, photography, video, painting and other media have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art (MoMa/PS1), Brooklyn Academy of Music and numerous galleries across the country.

About his creative mission, Scott has written, “The thread that connects my work is an engagement with sharp social questions confronting humanity and a desire to push formal and conceptual boundaries as part of contributing to artistic development.”

Scott’s lecture will touch on his piece, “What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag,” a controversial work from 1989 that was denounced by President George Bush and outlawed by Congress, as well as discuss more recent projects that look at American democracy’s roots in slavery and criminalization of black and Latino youth, according to his press release.

Scott’s passion for social justice and his artistic vision are deeply intertwined.

“My inspiration comes from a deep understanding that the suffering that billions of people are subjected to is unnecessary,” he said. “People can make a revolution and end the era where a small handful of people controls the great wealth and knowledge that humanity as a whole has produced.”

Barbara Kutis, assistant professor of fine arts (art history), invited Scott to campus to complement the curriculum of her course on American art, which is focused on issues of race and identity. Scott’s compelling presence and informative perspectives are matched by a contemporary and historical approach to the making of art,” she said.

“His work reflects significant research into past issues, such as the fight for civil rights in the 1960s,” Kutis said. “And it connects to more contemporary events.”

For art history students, it is an opportunity to grapple with the social impact of art.

“Students will learn about the process that goes into artistic and social action, the commitment they must make to their own ideas and beliefs, and hopefully be inspired to pursue their own investigations into issues that have significance to them,” Kutis said.

Dread Scott will speak at 6 p.m. on Mon., March 7 in Hoosier Room East of IU Southeast. This event and parking are free and open to the public.

Photos courtesy of Dread Scott.

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