Sunday 10/16/22 1PM-3PM
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Performances · Exhibition-Related

“Here Hangs the Skins of a Surgical Sadist!” An Assault on the Remains of J. Marion Sims

Cover Image:

“Doreen Lynette Garner: REVOLTED,” 2022. Exhibition view: New Museum, New York. Photo: Dario Lasagni.

Join the New Museum for an activation of work on view in “Doreen Lynette Garner: REVOLTED.” Artist Doreen Lynette Garner (also known as KING COBRA) invites visitors who identify as Black femmes, those who currently or formerly identify as Black women, and those who were identified as Black women at birth to engage with Here hangs the skins of a surgical sadist! (2022), which confronts the violent history and legacy of J. Marion Sims.

For the past several years, Garner’s work has addressed the inhumane practices of J. Marion Sims, an early nineteenth-century physician once regarded as the “father of modern gynecology.” Many of Sims’s so-called medical advancements were achieved by conducting recurrent surgical operations without anesthesia on at least ten non-consenting, enslaved Black women, including Betsey Harris, Lucy Zimmerman, and Anarcha Wescott.

This piece facilitates a ritual catharsis of past and historical traumas by repurposing the material remains of a silicone skin replica of a bronze statue of Sims that once stood in Central Park. This activation serves as an extension of this work, which interrogates the abuse of power, the politics of redress and retribution, and ancestral revenge, and imagines ways of reckoning with the persistent forms of violence Garner’s work exposes.

Following this program, there will be a conversation between Garner and curator Vivian Crockett to debrief the activation in the context of the exhibition and Garner’s broader practice.


This program will be presented onsite at the New Museum, free with Museum admission.
Participants in the activation will be offered complimentary access to the subsequent conversation, tickets to which are also included with Museum admission.

All attendees are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. Please review the New Museum’s COVID guidelines in advance of your visit.


We strive to make our programs as accessible as possible. Review the New Museum’s accessibility information here, including services available by request.

About the Artist

Doreen Lynette Garner (also known as KING COBRA) (b. 1986, Philadelphia, PA) is an American sculptor and body modifier based in Brooklyn, New York. Garner’s most recent work is currently on view in solo exhibitions “REVOLTED” at the New Museum, and “Pale in Comparison” at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA. Select exhibitions include “Steal Kill and Destroy: A Thief Who Intended Them Maximum Harm” (2021), HALLE FÜR KUNST, Steiermark, Austria; “Greater New York” (2021), MoMA PS1; “She Is Risen” (2019), JTT Gallery; “STATEMENTS” (2018), Art Basel; “White Man on A Pedestal” (2017), Pioneer Works; “Surrogate Skin: The Biology of Objects” (2016), MoCADA; “Ether and Agony” (2016), Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, LA; and “SHINY RED PUMPING” (2015), Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia PA. Garner has completed residencies at LMCC Workspace Program (2015), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014), Abrons Art Center (2015–16), Pioneer Works (2016), and the Toledo Museum of Art (2016). She holds a BFA in Glass from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University with an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, the Toby Devan Lewis award, a Van Lier Fellowship award, a Franklin Furnace Grant and is currently practicing as a sculptor and inscriber of flesh.


This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

We gratefully acknowledge the Bowery Council of the New Museum for its support of Education and Public Engagement Programs.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund; and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum. Support for “Doreen Lynette Garner: REVOLTED” can be viewed here.

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