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(Re)Enacting Revolution: Dread Scott and Erin Gray

Artist Dread Scott's recent large-scale art project, Slave Rebellion Reenactment, 2019, is a community-engaged performance reenacting the largest rebellion of enslaved people in U.S. history. Prof. Erin Gray, UC Davis, researches the production of racist and anti-racist epistemologies in a range of aesthetic practices from the nineteenth century to the present. For this Visualizing Abolition, join them for a far-reaching conversation about art, history, revolutions, and reenactments.

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April 20, 2021 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm

Rachel Nelson, Dread Scott, and Erin Gray on a Zoom call.

(Re)Enacting Revolution
w/ Dread Scott and Erin Gray
Featured Music Video – Dianne Reeves and Camila Cortina Bello
April 20, 2021, 4-5:30 p.m.

Visualizing Abolition is a series of online events organized by Professor Gina Dent, Feminist Studies and Dr. Rachel Nelson, Director, Institute of the Arts and Sciences. The events accompany Barring Freedom, an exhibition of contemporary art on view at San José Museum of Art October 30, 2020-June, 2021. To accompany the exhibition, Solitary Garden, a public art project about mass incarceration and solitary confinement is on view at UC Santa Cruz. 

About the speakers

Dread Scott

Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. His work is exhibited across the US and internationally. In 1989, his art became the center of national controversy over its transgressive use of the American flag, while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. President G.H.W. Bush called his art “disgraceful” and the entire US Senate denounced and outlawed this work. Dread became part of a landmark Supreme Court case when he and others defied the new law by burning flags on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Dread’s studio is now based in Brooklyn.

Dr. Erin Gray

Dr. Erin Gray is a writer, educator, and activist currently living in occupied Huichin (Oakland, California). Erin is an assistant professor of Black Literary and Cultural Studies in the English department at UC Davis, where she writes and teaches at the intersections of critical theory and visual and performance studies to interrogate the aesthetic production of racist and anti-racist thought. Erin’s current book project, The Moving Image of Lynching: Liberalizing Racial Terror in the Long Photographic Century, theorizes the co-emergence and continuing imbrication of lynch law and racial liberalism as constitutive elements of U.S imperial power. Her co-edited anthology, The Black Radical Tradition in the United States, is forthcoming from Verso Press in 2021. She has published essays in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory, The International Feminist Journal of Politics, Truthout, and Viewpoint

Visualizing Abolition is organized by UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences in collaboration with San José Museum of Art and Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery. The series has been generously funded by the Nion McEvoy Family Trust, Ford Foundation, Future Justice Fund, Wanda Kownacki, Peter Coha, James L. Gunderson, Rowland and Pat Rebele, Porter College, UCSC Foundation, and annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences.

Partners include: Howard University School of Law, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, Jessica Silverman Gallery, Indexical, The Humanities Institute, University Library, University Relations, Institute for Social Transformation, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, Porter College, the Center for Cultural Studies, the Center for Creative Ecologies, and Media and Society, Kresge College.


April 20, 2021
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
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