Last year, performance and installation artist Wilmer Wilson IV conducted a series of three public performances, collectively entitled Henry Box Brown: Forever, along the streets of Washington, DC. For each performance, the artist covered his entire body with a single value of postage stamps, with increasing values for every journey. He then walked a planned distance across the city to a post office and, upon arrival, would request that he please be mailed to freedom.
The project was inspired by the story of Henry “Box” Brown, an American slave in the mid-1800’s who escaped to freedom by successfully mailing himself in a box from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The project was commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH), for the 5×5 temporary public art initiative created to enliven neighborhoods across the District.