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Kara Walker in "Stories"

“The illusion is that most of my work is simply about past events, a point in history and nothing else,” says Kara Walker about her subversive use of the traditional silhouette technique. The segment traces the evolution of Walker’s work, from time spent in the studio to the artist’s recent installations of projected light.

“A lot of what I was wanting to do in my work and what I have been doing has been about the unexpected…that unexpected situation of wanting to be the heroine and yet wanting to kill the heroine at the same time.” Projecting fiction into fact, Walker’s art upsets the conventions of history and storytelling.

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Kara Walker

Kara Walker explores the raw intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in her work, crafting vivid psychological narratives from a contemporary perspective on historical conditions. Over the past two decades, Walker has unleashed the traditionally Victorian medium of the silhouette onto the walls of the gallery, creating immersive installations that envelop the viewer. Walker’s multi-media work—which includes drawing, watercolor, video, and sculpture—often reconsider grotesque caricatures, probing their persistence in popular culture and reclaiming their subjugating power to alternative ends.

“The illusion is that most of my work is simply about past events, a point in history and nothing else.”

Kara Walker

History Reimagined

2:50
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Eleanor Antin

2:02
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Kerry James Marshall

14:50
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Kara Walker discusses her 2002 exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On).

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