The Gradual Contemporary: Conversations on Contemporary Art

Imagine a World without America



Download .mp4 (394.3 MB)


Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. He doesn’t accept the economic foundation, social relations and governing ideas of America. His work encourages an audience to explore important questions based upon this perspective. He first received national attention in 1989 when his art became the center of 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.

His work has been included in exhibitions at MoMA PS1, the Walker art Center and the Whitney Museum. In 2012, BAM presented his performance Dread Scott: Decision as part of their 30th Anniversary Next Wave Festival. His work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum and the Brooklyn Museum and has been featured on the cover of Artfroum and the front page of

He is a recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship and grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, the Open Society Institute and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. He works in a range of media including performance, photography, screen-printing and video. His works can be hard-edged and poignant. Dread plays with fire—metaphorically and sometimes literally—as when he burned $171 on Wall Street and encouraged those with money to burn to add theirs to the pyre.

The talk will look at a sampling of his art from the past thirty years. Scott works in a range of media including performance, photography, screen printing, installation, and video.


Media is loading

Publication Date



Rhode Island School of Design




Art and Design | Contemporary Art

Imagine a World without America