Kara Walker, the Negress

Posted in Art by akacocolopez on September 25, 2009

“Who do you think your audience is?…Who do you want to own your work?”

I’ve heard this question in a peer’s critic this week, at Walker’s lecture today, and directed towards my own work in the past. Sometimes I wonder why certain people are specifically asked to explain who they think their audience is. Well, I don’t wonder, I know why we are asked. Earlier tonight Walker smartly stated she didn’t care who bought her artwork…as long as they took care of it.

My notes from A Proposition by Kara Walker @ the New Museum (if you catch this in time she will be there again Saturday, Sept. 26th):

i am the perpetrator/i am the victim

Nigger = the painting

painter manipulates mob mentality


manifest destiny

“There are niggers and there are blacks. Some are paintings and some are human. Don’t confuse them.”

Pollock “action” compared to whips

displacing liberty on a body

white male dominant power structure

“Star Caresses the Breath of a Negress” (Joan Miro)

Van Gogh’s African experience

scape goat

W.J.T. Mitchell’s definition

fluidity of racist images – blackface

“Do I have a social responsibility to my images?”

“Do I value a White value system”

“Must the viewer be passive?”

empowering white supremacy

willie lynch, black existentialism

perpetrator using the language of the victim

White art’s racist undertones


“Should art objects be treated as entities with civil rights?:

“Must Black artists carry a burden relative to Western art?”


moral vs. legal

zora neale hurston

go along with your ideas

The Rectangle/Frame/Canvas/etc.

The fallacy, to begin, recognition of experiences…


One Response

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  1. AndraeBlackman said, on October 9, 2009 at 12:52 am

    WTF are you talking about? who is your audience, did u get the question from me. can u mention my name already, WTF BFF?

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