Featured Long Durational Work
Henry "Box" Brown: FOREVER (2012), Wilmer Wilson IV
Duration: 18 hours, six hours each day
Cover photograph by Bree Gant, © Wilmer Wilson IV, courtesy CONNERSMITH
"Henry 'Box' Brown: FOREVER" (2012) was a suite of three public performances completed in Washington, DC in 2012 by the artist Wilmer Wilson IV. The artist began the performance by meticulously encasing his bare body within a second skin made of US postage stamps. He then walked through DC's neighborhood communities to a nearby post office and asked the clerk to be mailed.
After being rejected, he returned to his starting point and shed the stamp skin. This action happened over the course of three days and in three separate neighborhoods, engaging a diverse swath of DC's city residents. The piece alluded to Henry "Box" Brown, a 19th century American slave who escaped North, to freedom, by mailing himself in a box. The performance was commissioned by 5x5 project, as a part of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities program.