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New art installation in Brooklyn sparks conversation about systemic inequality

Those walking into Columbus Park in Downtown Brooklyn will now be met by a 10-foot-tall installation with a message.

News 12 Staff

Jul 15, 2022, 12:23 AM

Updated 733 days ago

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Those walking into Columbus Park in Downtown Brooklyn will now be met by a 10-foot-tall installation with a message.
The installation shows six African figures locked inside metal cages, as part of the Mind Forged Manacles/Manacle Forged Minds art installation.
Artist Fred Wilson says the artwork is meant to symbolize the incarceration of the Black man, policing and illegal immigrants.
The elaborate structure sits between statues of abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher and Christopher Columbus, exploring issues of justice, racism and mass incarceration.
More Art, a nonprofit that helps connect artists and communities for public art pieces, were responsible for commissioning the work and helping the project come to life. 
In the two weeks since it has been put up, the installation has become a think piece for onlookers and parkgoers.
“Pieces like this, I mean they're difficult because they're aesthetically beautiful in so many ways but they're also absolutely arresting,” said Molly Superfine, who spent time observing the installation. “And they make you question seriously what kinds of violence are apparent always in our culture every day."
The sculpture will be up until next June. In that time, organizers will hold workshops and programming to incite more conversation about the message evoked by this artwork.


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