The Mirrored Casket project is a collaborative sculpture I designed and orchestrated with local community artists in St. Louis. Shaped like a closed coffin, the Mirrored Casket is made of mirrors to challenge on-lookers to question, empathize, and reflect on their own roles in remediating the crisis of countless deaths that young men of color experience in the United States at the hands of police and community violence.
Wood, Mirror. 2014
The Mirror Casket is a visual structure, performance, and call to action for justice in the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Created by a team of seven community artists and organizers, the mirrored casket responds to a Ferguson resident’s call for “a work of art that evokes more empathy into this circumstance” following the burning of a Michael Brown memorial on September 23, 2014.
With an aim to evoke reflection and empathy for the deaths of young people of color who have lost their lives unjustly in the United States and worldwide, the The Mirror Casket was performed as part of a “Funeral Procession of Justice” during the Ferguson October protests. As community members carried it from the site of Michael Brown’s death to the police department of the community, its mirrors challenged viewers to look within and see their reflections as both whole and shattered, as both solution and problem, as both victim and aggressor. The Mirror Casket has since been used throughout related protests and marches.
De Andrea Nichols, Producer
Marcis Curtis, Builder
Sophie Lipman, Logistics Coordinator
Damon Davis, Assistant Builder
Elizabeth Vega, Artivism Lead
Derek Laney, March Lead
Mallory Nezam, March Co-Lead
The Mirror Casket project was collected by the Smithsonian in March 2016 for its National Museum for African American History and Culture.