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Brooklyn’s best humans-as-art projects • Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn’s best humans-as-art projects

Watered down: Artist Dread Scott gets knocked down, but he gets up again. Nothing is ever going to keep him down.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Brooklyn is a mecca for weird art. So it should come as no surprise that the artists really get into their work — like really into it. And as another Kings County creative gets set to present himself as the central component of his own artwork, we thought it was a good time to run down the best instances of humans as art in recent years.

Human hamsters

“In Orbit,” by Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder, 2014

A pair of Bushwick artists spent 10 days living in, and on top of, a 25-foot hamster wheel. The pair had to work together in order to keep from falling over while eating, drinking, sleeping, and even peeing inside of the rodent roller. The project was meant to show the give and take of human relationships, according to the artists.

Crowning achievement

“Baby X,” by Marni Kotak, 2011

A Bushwick artist accustomed to turning major events in her life into art took things to the next level when she conceived the birth of her child as an art installation in Myrtle Avenue’s Microscope Gallery. Her husband used the afterbirth to create a painting.

Pill chill

“Mad Meds,” by Marni Kotak, 2014

Kotak suffered from postpartum depression after having her baby, and went on medication to treat it. Three years later, she turned back up at Microscope Gallery to quit the drugs as yet another piece of art. She weaned herself off the meds, with the supervision of a doctor, while living in the gallery for three weeks.

Watered down

“On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide,” Dread Scott, 2014

Controversial Fort Greene artist Dread Scott staged a performance wherein a firefighter blasted him with a hose under the Manhattan Bridge. The powerful jet of water was intended to remind people of the struggles faced by civil right advocates in the 1960s, and in general about the limits of democracy.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at mperl‌man@c‌ngloc‌al.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.

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