Dread Scott came to UF to start a revolution.
Not with pitchforks or torches, but with cameras and performance.
“We don’t have to live like this. People can make a far better world. A world without classes, and people can transform themselves in the process,” he said. “To do that we need revolution.”
About 185 people filled the seats, crowded the floors and spilled into the walkways in Little Hall on Tuesday night to hear a talk by Scott, a controversial artist who tackles topics such as income inequality, racism and immigration through his photography, video and performance art. He describes his work as revolutionary art intended to propel society forward.
Scott uses art as a medium to comment on social issues. During the lecture, he showed some of his most famous work, including a performance called “Money to Burn,” which depicted him burning $171 on Wall Street and encouraging others to join in. The performance was meant to highlight the wealth disparity that exists in America.
Scott also warned attendees about the dangers of fascism, which he feels is a looming threat.
“I encourage you all to resist and defy fascist authority and break on unjust laws,” he said. “This is a very dangerous time.”
The UF School of Art + Art History hosted Scott as part of the Fall 2018 Visiting Artist Lecture Series. His lecture was sponsored by the Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere.
Scott also showed a project called “Wanted,” which focused on the wrongful criminalization of black and Latino youth. The posters, which resemble a wanted sign, showcase how youth of color are unnecessarily harassed by police, Scott wrote on his website.
Scott was paid for his appearance but the amount is unknown. His lecture was sponsored by the Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere.
Jasmine Conrad, a 24-year-old UF creative photography senior, said she attends all of the Visiting Artist Lectures because she feels it’s important to get the perspective of working artists across America.
“I absolutely agree with his outlook,” Conrad said. “It’s important to not glorify our Constitution — something that doesn’t benefit anyone in our country except for a few people.”