A museum centered on Art + Education + Social Justice through the lens of Africa + the diaspora

Bradley McCallum | Witnessing

Witnessing is funded by a grant from the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund, a partnership with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Dumbo Improvement District as part of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. The installation would not be possible without the generous support of public art initiatives by Two Trees Management, the permission of Jacqueline Tarry, and the support of curator Scott Propeack.

On View: September 30, 2022

Location: 10 Lafayette Avenue Brooklyn (corner of Ashland Place)

Community Discussions: TBD


Witnessing: The road to ending police brutality, institutionalized discrimination, and the loss of lives is long. We have still so far to go.

Witnessing by Bradley McCallum is a public art installation that is remastered from the project Witness: Perspectives on Police Violence (1999-2000), produced in collaboration with artist Jacqueline Tarry, which was created in response to the city-wide protests against the brutal sodomization of Abner Louima in 1997, and the killing of Amadou Diallo in 1999. Witnessing considers the original testimony of its participants in the context of the national Black Lives Matter movement and through our public programs.

Call boxes that were once a fixture on the sidewalks of New York, are featured prominently throughout this installation. Inverting their original function, they amplify the voices of New Yorkers impacted by violence at the hands of the authorities. Through first-hand audio and visual testimonies of family members and police officers (as gathered from interviews conducted by McCallum and Tarry in 1999), these “voices” deliver a call for collective, community grieving and support through public remembrance of the lives that were lost.

Witnessing is seen in the current social landscape in which incidents of police violence against and wrongful incarceration of young Black and Brown persons continue to rise. Since George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, police have killed more than 200 black people. 

Witness: Perspectives on Police Violence was originally developed with the New York Civil Liberties Union (1998-1999) and expanded to include the Center for the Constitutional Rights, The National Action Network, Parents Against Police Brutality, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, The National Congress of Puerto Rican Rights, The Anthony Baez Foundation and Youth Force. These organizations and their staff continue to work on the front lines of police reform and they are joined by many others who advocate for victims, their families and work to hold those in authority accountable for wrongful deaths.  

Warning: Witnessing presents difficult testimony of survivors of police violence, including police officers, given over two decades ago, and describes acts of violence that may trigger deep emotions and anger. If the stories in Witness trigger emotions for you public resources are available. NYC Well is a free counseling service that is available to the public and can be reached at 1-800-NYC-WELL or text “Well” to 65173. 


Witnessing by Bradley McCallum (2022), Mixed media installation.

Efe Ozmen, Video editor
Farah Salehi, Fabricator

Testimony by:

Iris and David Baez, Mother and Brother of Anthony Baez (Killed 1994)
Mary Gains, Mother of Nathaniel Levi Gaines (Killed 1996)
Lilian Flores and David Muniz, Mother and Stepfather of Frankie Arzuaga (Killed 1996) 

These are stories of surviving family members, remembering their loved ones and sharing their efforts to change a justice system that protects police officers instead of their communities. 

Testimony by:

Susan Karten, Attorney for Baez family
The Reverend Al Sharpton, Activist 

How do activists and attorneys bring accountability and justice for the families of those killed by Police? A young Reverend Al Sharpton speaks about the role of activists and Susan Karten recounts the challenges related the grand jury process.   

Testimony by:

Nicholas Heward Sr., Father of Nicholas Heward Jr. (Killed 1994)
Carmen Morales, Mother of Hilton Vega (Killed 1995)
Margarita and Tony Rosario, Mother and father of Anthony Rosario (Killed 1995)
Joyce and Qing Lan Huang, Sisters of Yong Xin Huang (Killed 1995) 

This video portrait weaves together testimony of surviving family members, turned activists, as they share their experiences of profound loss and their struggle for justice.

Testimony by:

Lisa Figueroa, Youth Force member
Sha-King Graham, Youth Force member
Tasha Williams, Youth Force member

Teenagers, who were active in Youth Force in 1999, share their stories about racial experiences with police and the systemic issues facing police reform.&nbsp

Testimony by:

Milta Calderon, Mother of Anibal Calderon (Killed 1996)
Gerard Papa, Survivor (1996)

Gerard Papa shares his story of surviving a brutal attack at the hands of the police and Milta Calderon shares her pain after her son was shot in the back by police.  



Bradley McCallum
IG: @McCallumStudio

Bradley McCallum addresses trauma and struggle, racial identity and representation, collective history and individual responsibility. His work includes large-scale public projects, sculpture, paintings, photography, video, and self-portraiture. As the collaborative duo McCallum & Tarry, he delved deeply into the legacy of race in American culture -often incorporating profoundly engaging and personal narratives. In 1989 he founded Conjunction Arts, a nonprofit to support politically-engaged artists, connect artists and social justice organizations, and provide fiscal sponsorship for collaborative art projects.

McCallum has exhibited at art museums and international art biennials including, Burchfield Penny (Buffalo, NY), Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD), SITE Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM), Spelman College Museum of Fine Art (Atlanta, GA), Arizona State University Art Museum (Tempe, AZ), Prospect 1. Biennial (New Orleans, LA), Newcomb Art Gallery ( New Orleans, LA), Wadsworth Atheneum (New Haven, CT), New York Historical Society (New York, NY), The African American Museum (Philadelphia, PA), Stony Brook University Art Gallery (Stony Brook, NY), Neuberger Museum of Art ( Purchase, NY), EVA International Art Biennial (Limerick, Ireland), Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New Palz, NY).

He has had solo and group exhibitions at commercial art galleries including, Nichido Contemporary Art gallery (Tokyo, Japan), Galerie Nordine Zidoun (Paris, France), Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts (New York, NY), Canazi Gallery (Columbus, OH), Kiang Gallery (Atlanta, GA), Marc Selwyn Fine Art (Los Angeles, CA), Katherine E. Nash Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Chicago, IL), Robert Blumenthal (New York, NY).

His public art commissions include collaborations with diverse organizations, such as, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Madison Metropolitan School District, Save Our Sons and Daughters and the City of Detroit, and Two Lights State Park, Maine.

McCallum has received major support from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Gunk Foundation, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Michigan Council for Art and Cultural Affairs, Detroit Arts Council, Davis Family Foundation, Seymour L. Lustman Memorial Fund, Greenwall Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

He is an experienced teacher having taught courses in sculpture, interdisciplinary conceptual art, public art, arts management, art and law at Yale University, the University of Southern Maine, San Francisco Art Institute, University of California Santa Cruz, Pratt Institute of the Arts, and Columbia University., respectively

McCallum was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin (1966) and has an MFA from Yale University (1992). He is represented by Galerie Zidoun, Luxembourg, and Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo. The artist lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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