An Incomplete History of Protest

Solo en Inglès

“I make revolutionary art to propel history forward. I’m a visual artist.”
—Dread Scott

Hear directly from artists including Dread Scott, and Senga Nengudi 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.

Daniel Joseph Martinez (b. 1957), Divine Violence, 2007 (installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art). Automotive paint on wooden panels, 153 x 275 x 187 in. (388.6 x 698.5 x 475 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee, with additional funds from Neil Bluhm, Melva Bucksbaum, Philip Geier, Jr., Nicki Harris, Allison Kanders and Pamela Sanders 2008.289a-d. Photograph by Ron Amstutz

Narrator:  Daniel Joseph Martinez.

Daniel Joseph Martinez: Being observations or memorials, of the most remarkable occurrences, which happened in the last great visitation.

This is a world of corpses strewn in the streets and fields, yet in the death cart itself, the drunken piper wakes up to cry, but I am not dead, am I?

I have slipped into a relief of digression, of someone escaping, someone sidestepping this enforced claustrophobia, conquering the fear through sheer desperation, or malice, or cowardice, or a sort of epic heroism.

Excuse me, in the last twenty years we have seen America transformed until it is completely unrecognizable. In any case, no guerrilla movement can overthrow a government; what they can do is create a sort of chaos that is favorably disposed to radical change.

All I can say, is that in history, the most powerful arms have always been new forms of consciousness, and that fundamental revolution has come as the result of an evolution. 

We seem to be waiting for some catastrophe to project ourselves into. Watch out, madness is a reality, not a perversion. I am only an obsession, don’t talk to me, otherwise don’t know me. Do you think I exist?

Perhaps you will see in your little mouth, the withered blood of coral, in your eyeshadow, palm trees drunken by the sun. Another man sticks his leg through the window, bewildered face, like a lunatic, palms vertically flat, beat in the air, froth comes from his mouth. Bastards! They’ve stolen me!

So that now, all our extenuations have abated, and it was no more to be concealed, how quickly it appeared that the infection has spread beyond all hopes.

Someone, somewhere has tied up the darkness, we know why we are all here. It is our affinity for disobedience.