Visit to the Domino Sugar Factory, Kara Walker Art Exhibit
June 19, 2014
Of course race and history were the primary discussions going on here, but it really bothered me that the statues were not fully made of sugar. That the process had not been perfected or concluded, and that instead we were given mock-ups or props that represented the idea instead of the real thing. Maybe I’m a purist, but I felt a little gypped. Looking up at the biggest attraction, the massive white statue, the “white elephant” in the room, all i could see was foam.
Having worked at an art production shop, creating props of foam, all I could think about was how the thing had been constructed. I imagined how each foam block was cut based on a digital model, then pieced together on-location and covered with layer upon layer of dissolved white sugar. I imagined the fabricators and possible interns who had worked on this. The seams were obvious (maybe that was something that developed over time?)
Maybe if the thing had been made of plaster mixed with sugar, or some other hybrid substance, then the piece would have felt richer, heavier, and would have had the power to overtake the very specific history of the Domino Sugar Factory itself, and transport visitors into the intended world of Kara Walker’s historic perspective.
Video Coming soon.
Kara Walker installation “A Subtlety or The Marvelous Sugar Baby” closes, July 6.