An Incomplete History of Protest Audio Guide Playlist
“I make revolutionary art to propel history forward. I’m a visual artist.”
Hear directly from artists including Dread Scott, Senga Nengudi, and Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds as they discuss their work in An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017. Listen to additional commentary from curators on selected highlights from the exhibition.
Narrator: Senga Nengudi began making sculptures from stretched nylons in 1977. She’s said that this one is especially extreme in its form.
Senga Nengudi: It was sort of like nerve endings. I took it to that level of extremeness, stretching it as far as it tolerated. And with the pantyhose I was really interested in the elasticity of it, because we as human beings have a lot of elasticity, not only with our bodies—you know, dieting and gaining weight again and then doing this and doing that and you know the psyche—that also stretching and being able to come back into some form of normality.
In the beginning, I used my pantyhose as well as pantyhose of friends and so on, and I would go to thrift stores to get them because I wanted to have the idea that—and I washed them, washed them all the time—but I wanted this kind of sense of being used, of energy, still in the pantyhose.
Narrator: The sculptures can seem humorous at first, but they have an edge.
Senga Nengudi: So it's like that, it's a laugh, and then it's like, "oh…". For my mind, it's the best kind of comedy, because usually when comedians—they'll say something and then you go, "oh...". After that punchline, you have to rethink what they said, and it gives you a couple of layers to work with.
Senga Nengudi (b. 1943), Internal I, 1977, refabricated 2014, from RSVP. Nylon hosiery, dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 2015.109 © Senga Nengudi
- 601 Dread Scott, A Man Was Lynched by Police Yesterday, 2015
- 610 Toyo Miyatake, Untitled (Opening Image from Valediction), 1944
- 611 Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting, 1960-1966
- 620 The Black Emergency Cultural Coalition and Black Artist’s Correspondence
- 621 Senga Nengudi, Internal I, 1977
- 630 War Posters
- 631 Edward Kienholz, The Non War Memorial, 1970
- 650 AA Bronson, Felix Partz, June 5, 1994, 1994/1999
- 660 Carl Pope, Some of the Greatest Hits of the New York City Police Department: A Celebration of Meritorious Achievement in the Community, 1994
- 662 Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, Relocate Destroy, In Memory of Native Americans, In Memory of Jews, 1987
- 670 Daniel Joseph Martinez, Divine Violence, 2007