Headlands Center for the Arts

Dread Scott

new york | social practice
Chamberlain Award Program 2019

Artist Statement

I look toward an era without exploitation or oppression. I don’t accept the economic foundation, social relations, and governing ideas of America. My work contributes to social change by encouraging an audience to explore important social questions based upon this perspective. This viewpoint has empowered me to make artworks that show leaders of slave revolts as heroes, challenge American patriotism as a unifying value, burn the US Constitution, position the police as successors to lynch mob terror, and burn money to highlight the absurdity of a system that treats life necessities as commodities.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I will be working on Slave Rebellion Reenactment, a long-term, community engaged project that will reenact the largest rebellion of enslaved people in the United States. The reenactment will animate a hidden history of people with an audacious plan to take up arms to fight for their emancipation by ending slavery. The performance will involve hundreds of re-enactors, period-specific costumes, horses, and armaments. It will be reenacted in November on the outskirts of New Orleans, where the 1811 revolt happened. I will also begin working on Money Laundry—a performance where people bring money to be laundered. People who feel that they have dirty money, obtained by any means from inheriting old world money to modern-day questionable banking practice, can bring their fouled currency to the Money Laundry to be cleaned and redistributed to non-profits or activists who can put it to cleaner uses.

Selected Works

Personal Website