Home > News > Kara Walker Sculpture Attracts Mostly White Crowd and Many Seem to be Twelve Years Old

Kara Walker Sculpture Attracts Mostly White Crowd and Many Seem to be Twelve Years Old

Photo: Jason Wyche/Courtesy Creative Time

Photo: Jason Wyche/Courtesy Creative Time

Kara Walker’s new installation, A Subtlety, located in Brooklyn’s abandoned Domino Sugar factory, is drawing large crowds and provoking some pretty interesting discussions. Its longer title, A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant, certainly points to a number of conversation starting points, both subtle and not so subtle.

This photo is tamer than many taken from the backside of the sculpture.

This photo is much tamer than many taken from the backside of the sculpture.

After standing in the long lines of predominately white viewers, Jamilah King was moved to write a thought-provoking article in Colorlines last week entitled “The Overwhelming Whiteness of Black Art.” If her challenging questions about content and viewership sound too serious, don’t fret. Artnet has now posted a collection of some of the juvenile selfies-with-sculpture beginning to appear on Instagram with the hashtag #KaraWalkerDomino. Before we get too far into a heavy conversation, we apparently need to get the naked-body-parts giggles out of our system.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
You may also like
Too Soon?
Top Five February 18, 2016
The Best Defense is Good Offensiveness
Artists Discover Israel Exhibition and Are Urged to Withdraw

6 Responses

  1. Imagine that

    Just think, there were mostly white people (gasp) at a place in a country that is mostly white, I couldn’t have imagined it! Shocking.

  2. Paula Newton

    King does not say that the whiteness of the audience is shocking (In fact, she says that it’s “not a bad thing.”) The article simply raises some problematic issues based on her own personal reactions, as well as a number of studies and other articles about art audiences and race.
    You can click on the link and actually read it.

  3. Let us all get a grip on the socio-economic possibilities/realities, as well as audience comfort zones, for non-whites being in attendance at art events, even when “quota-allowances” are subtly/passively implemented for those making the art and “venue neutral” selections are carefully addressed. It is still the comment/theme/intent of the art that is of import, regardless how it may be “treated” by viewers inherently becoming critics by their own baggage. Kara Walker says it best about the subject to audience, “The promise of any artwork is that it can hold us—viewer and maker—in a conflicted or contestable space, without real world injury or loss.”

  4. …But let’s talk about the actual art, and forget about black/ white/ man/ woman/ whodunnit. The ART is sociopolitical commentary, and the ARTIST is, as usual, a master at story- and truth-telling.

Leave a Reply

Funding generously provided by: