Kara Walker won't let me look away

So much has been written about Kara Walker's show at Sikkema Jenkins, I'll post some of the links below, but I'm loathe to let the words take place of the drawings because they're so good.  She has transformed her silhouette process into sumi drawings collaged onto larger sheets of paper. I was listening in the studio to a performance of Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" yesterday in preparation for the White Supremacist who rented space on our campus this week. I was thinking about King's defense of non-violent protest and his critique of the local clergy who asked him to refrain from protest and instead to negotiate and use the courts to solve segregation.  King's protest made people uncomfortable and Walker's drawings make people uncomfortable too.  Her drawings make me engage with the horror of our nations past, they don't let me look away. They also make me recognize that racism continues to permeate our lives, they help me see how its publicly rearing its ugly head in Gainesville, but has always been here too, embedded in our lives.

Kara Walker, U.S.A. Idioms, 2017, Sumi ink and collage on paper, 140.125 x 176.625 inches

detail, U.S.A. Idioms
Kara Walker, Christ's Entry into Journalism, 2017, Sumi ink and collage on paper, 140 x 196 inches

detail, Christ's Entry into Journalism,

Kara Walker, Libertine Alighting the World, 2017, Sumi ink and collage on paper, 95 x 72 inches

Seph Rodney, 15 Questions About Kara Walker's Latest Exhibition


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