vanessa german (b. 1976) Reality Check: To Call Police Use This Phone, 2013 Mixed-media assemblage 46 × 24 × 14 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; bequest of Peggy Cooper Cafritz (1947–2018), Washington, D.C. collector, educator, and activist 2018.40.98
As a self-taught visual storyteller, vanessa german works across sculpture, performance, photography, and community-led rituals to expose, repair, and restructure trauma-induced spaces and systems. The artist’s practice centers around promoting healing, tenderness, and raising consciousness. With Reality Check: To Call Police Use This Phone, german gifts viewers a talisman to provide safety and relief in replacement of calling the police.