Terra Foundation Lectures in American Art 2019 - A Contest of Images: American Art as Culture War (3) Dismantling the Gallows

Dr John Blakinger discusses 'Scaffold', Sam Durant's contentious sculpture. Sam Durant's controversial sculpture Scaffold, a wooden structure recalling specific gallows from American history, ignited a firestorm at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2017. The work resembled the scaffold used in nearby Mankato, Minnesota, where 38 Dakota men were executed just days after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation - it was the largest mass execution ever held on American soil. This historical reference prompted a backlash from Native communities, who called for the work's removal. Can art help us dismantle the past and loosen its shackles? Or are we always forced to remember?

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