Sam Durant

Sam Durant is a multimedia artist whose works reference social, political and cultural issues in American history. In 2017, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis installed Durant’s monumental sculpture, Scaffold, in their Sculpture Garden. The work, which incorporated designs for gallows used in seven US government sanctioned hangings from 1859 to 2006, was intended to show America's history of state sanctioned violence and the death penalty. Native American groups protested the sculpture, offended by its reference to the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota Indians at Mankato. Durant agreed to dismantle the work, which was later buried by Dakota tribal elders. “I made Scaffold as a learning space for people like me, white people who have not suffered the effects of a white supremacist society and who may not consciously know that it exists,” said Durant. “White artists need to address issues of white supremacy.”

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