Many lying down with cotton pouring from his mouth

Cotton Mouth (detail) by Sheldon Scott, 2013 /  C-Print on Archival Paper, 26x38in.  Edition of 20 / © 2013 Sheldon Scott

IDENTIFY: Sheldon Scott

November 5, 2016 5:30 p.m.
Courtyard & Great Hall

Sheldon Scott presents Precious in Da Wadah, A Portrait of the Geechee as part of the museum's IDENTIFY series.  The artist's commissioned performance explores techniques enslaved Africans used to produce rice in the coastal region of South Carolina.  The performance challenges the concept of European technology as the basis of American agriculture, mercantilism, and financial prowess while highlighting the ingenuity of rice cultivation by the Gullah/Geechee people.  Scott also examines the advent of rice as a cash crop and the commodification of the black body.

Artist's Statement

I work in performance, sculpture, spoken narrative, photography, ephemera, immersive installation, and written word.  My work surveys the intersection of race, economics, and sexuality with a critical lens on the construction of black masculinity, while assessing the social taxes levied on black bodies and psyches.  These portraits are sourced from psychological introspection and physical commentary that offers biography and identity to challenge not only what we do, but why we do.

As a body of work that carries many voices through multiple media, I seek understanding of identities of race, sexuality, and economics with the use of visual metaphor.

  • A black man lying on his side with cotton pouring from his mouth

    Cotton Mouth / 2013 , C-Print on Archival Paper, 26x38in.  Edition of 20 / © 2013 Sheldon Scott

  • Black man with powdered sugar covering his face.

    Sweet Boy / 2013, C-print on archival paper, 38 x 26 inches, ed: 20. /© 2013 Sheldon Scott

  • Black and white photography of a black man bound with chains and ropes pulling a large rock across an open field

    Self Portrait as John Henry, (Man)/ 2014, C-print on archival paper, 26 x 38 inches, ed:10. / © 2014 Sheldon Scott

  • Portrait of a black man lying on the grass with a large rock covering his torso.

    Self Portrait as John Henry (Machine) / 2014, C-print on archival paper, 26 x 38 inches, ed:10. / © 2014 Sheldon Scott