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On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, Performance Still 2

Dread Scott

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Dread Scott has described his artistic practice as “revolutionary art to propel history forward.” During the performance of On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, the artist is repeatedly pushed backward as he attempts to walk, arms up, directly into the pressurized jet of a fire hose. Fire hoses were used by police to dispel and suppress peaceful anti-segregation protesters during the 1963 Civil Rights campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. More recently, sports figures and demonstrators used the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture to represent the continuing struggle for racial justice. In his performance, Scott refers to these events in order to commemorate those who have participated in the task of dismantling white supremacy in the United States.
MEDIUM Inkjet print
DATES 2016
DIMENSIONS 43 1/8 × 58 1/8 in. (109.5 × 147.6 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2016.25.2
EDITION Edition: 1/2
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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CAPTION Dread Scott (American, born 1965). On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, Performance Still 2, 2016. Inkjet print, 43 1/8 × 58 1/8 in. (109.5 × 147.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee, 2016.25.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2016.25.2_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2016.25.2_PS9.jpg., 2018
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Dread Scott (American, born 1965). <em>On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, Performance Still 2</em>, 2016. Inkjet print, 43 1/8 × 58 1/8 in. (109.5 × 147.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee, 2016.25.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2016.25.2_PS9.jpg)