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Mark Bradford
A Practice of Resistance

A Practice of Resistance

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‘Dancing in the Street’ (2019)

This installation features the iconic song recorded in 1964. The film takes the context of the civil rights movement at the time the hit song was released, layering footage of the band’s live performance onto landmarks of the industrial area of South Los Angeles where Bradford’s studio is located. As Bradford explains, ‘I’m taking a very old recording and projecting it onto buildings that in 1965 would have been burned down. It’s like recalling the spirit of that place and at the same time inserting another history on top of it.’

Although Bradford’s works resemble paintings, they are actually made from layers of scavenged posters, colored paper, caulking and ropes. Faced with Bradford’s layers of distressed paper, our eyes are drawn into a state of incomprehension, a black hole of knowing. Their layers express Bradford’s heightened consciousness of the impossibility of certain realities and people’s actual experiences being represented at all.


Proceeds from this presentation will benefit the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.

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About the artist

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#artforbetter

As part of Hauser & Wirth’s #artforbetter initiative and in support of the urgent fight to dismantle systemic racism, proceeds from this presentation will benefit the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.