Thursday, August 26, 2010

KARA WALKER's Art Installation at MoMA - "Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil War as it Occurred b'tween the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart"

On view for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art is the wall installation of black cut-out silhouettes of caricatures and antebellum figures arranged on a white wall in uncanny, sexual and violent scenarios by artist, Kara Walker. The artwork (1994) critiques historical narratives of slavery and the ongoing perpetuation of ethnic stereotypes. In the elaborate title, "Gone" refers to Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel "Gone with the Wind" set during the American Civil War. While Walker's narrative begins and ends with coupled figures, the chain of tragicomic, turbulent imagery refutes the promise of romance and confounds conventional attributions of power and oppression. "The history of America is built on inequality, this foundation of a racial inequality and social inequality," the artist has said. "And we buy into it. I mean, whiteness is just as artificial a construct as blackness is." (information from MoMA caption). This art installation is located at the second floor atrium. MoMA is located in midtown Manhattan, New York City, at 11 West Fifty-third Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

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