Photo courtesy the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Oct 5, 2022
Art installation transforms old call boxes into memorials for victims of police brutality
Six repurposed old-school emergency call boxes are now on display at 300 Ashland in an exhibit that runs through January 2023
Police brutality is being spotlighted in an eye-catching new exhibit in downtown Brooklyn.
Artist Bradley McCallum has created “Witnessing,” an exhibit takes six emergency call boxes, that once dotted the city’s sidewalks, and transforms them with video and audio that features the “testimonies from those who had experienced violence at the hands of the very authorities meant to protect them,” a release said.
The project is actually a reimagining an art exhibit spearheaded by McCallum more than 20 years ago called “Witness: Perspectives on Police Violence,” in the aftermath of the highly-publicized police abuse of Abner Louima in 1997 and Amadou Diallo in 1999. The aim is to attract attention to the “fact that despite the significant amount of time between the two projects, there has been no significant reduction in the death rates of people of color by the police,” the artist said in a statement.
“I hope the public climate has shifted enough for people — especially the authorities, politicians, and policymakers — to understand Witnessing as a monument to our shared humanity,” McCallum said. “As the father of a mixed-race son who is now 19-years-old, I appreciate first-hand the fear that comes with systemic racism and the challenges we face in policing our democracy.”
Featured in the exhibit — presented in partnership with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Dumbo Art Fund — is testimony from and about eight New Yorkers. Anthony Baez, Nicholas Heward Jr., Anthony Rosario, Hilton Vega, Yong Xin Huang, Anibal Calderon, Frankie Arzuaga and Nathanial Levi Gaines’ stories are told through exclusive interviews with their family members, police officers and social justice activists.
The six boxes, which are 7-feet-tall, are now on display at 300 Ashland and runs through January 2023.
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