The 50 Most Political Art Pieces of the Past 15 Years

27. In The Event Of A Race Riot by Theaster Gates, 2011

Theaster Gates has quickly risen through the ranks of the art world for his provocative work. In late 2012 he won a prize for Art and Politics from the New School and has become a favorite of none-other than Beyonce Knowles. Gates confronts problems glossed-over by the passage of time and the lack of this generation's cultural memory. This theme is particularly striking in his 2011 collection In The Event of a Race Riot. Somehow ending up with many decommissioned fire hoses, Gates coiled them and placed them in gilt-frame shadow boxes. It is a direct reference to the hosing of peaceful protesters in Birmingham, Albama in 1963. The frames lodge the struggles of that era in an untouchable time but are clearly put there on our own insistence.

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