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Examining Race and Gender With Kara Walker in London | BLOUIN ARTINFO Video

Examining Race and Gender With Kara Walker in London

11/12/13 7:35 AM EST

On first glance it’s not obvious how uncompromising the works of Kara Walker are at their heart. For her exhibition at Camden Arts Centre, Walker has applied her monochrome shadow works to the walls of one of the galleries and they dance across the space with cartoonish joviality, until viewers take a closer look at what they are actually depicting and then the joviality ceases.

“It almost looks like these childlike storyboards, like a tableaux you might have on a nursery wall or something,” says Public Programme Organiser Sophie Williamson. “It’s not until you take a place and look at the work that you realize how violent it is and the horror of what the images are depicting.”

Like her drawings and video, the shadows unflinchingly depict the legacy of violence and violation that the African American population had to endure in the Old South and which still resonates in contemporary culture. Her depictions of racial stereotypes and the enactments of power and violence that racism incites are certainly challenging viewing, and for the curators at Camden Arts Centre are utterly relevant to their London audience despite their trans-Atlantic historical origins. Williamson sat down with Blouin ARTINFO UK to discuss the importance of Walker’s work and the implications of staging Walker’s first major show in the UK.

The Kara Walker exhibition is on view at the Camden Arts Centre until January 5, 2014.

via VIDEO: Examining Race and Gender With Kara Walker in London | BLOUIN ARTINFO.