The first large-scale public project by internationally renowned artist, and 2012 recipient of Anderson Ranch’s National Artist Award, Kara Walker will open on Saturday, May 10 at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. The exhibit is presented by New York firm, Creative Time. Creative Time commissions, produces, and presents art that engages history, breaks new ground, challenges the status quo, and infiltrates the public realm while engaging millions of people in New York City and across the globe.
The Domino Sugar building’s fate is coming to an end as it’s site developers have planned to demolish the plant and convert the site into either low-income housing, hyaline towers or a school. The waterfront factory began to diminish last year but the completion of this project is yet to be scheduled.
“It makes me very sad, actually,” said Ms. Walker. “It’s so deeply embedded with meaning, and to just bulldoze that for the next phase of development is inevitable but it’s tragic.”
Kara Walker’s pieces are temperamental, knowing the setting of this public installation will soon disappear.
The centerpiece, a monumental polystyrene sphinx covered in snowy white sugar, is titled: A Subtlety or Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.
This being her first monumental sculpture, Ms. Walker charges the room with an emblem of a lost civilization. Her work is very present as it is about the antebellum America. “I’m thinking about the shaking of the sugar packet to put into your coffee,” said Ms. Walker. “It’s like a habit that goes without much thought, but I think it’s as potent as in Catholicism, you ingest the host.”
Creative Time’s President and Creative Director, Anne Pasternak, states, “Our whole history as an organization is to use sites of transition. We know this is going to be a problem for people and that they’re going to be examining our ethics.”
Creative Time is guided by three core values: art matters, artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and public spaces are places for creative and free expression. They are recognized by their innovative and meaningful projects such as Tribute to Light, the twin beacons of light that illuminated lower Manhattan six months after 9/11, Paul Chan’s production of Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, and much more.
The exhibition opens Saturday, May 10 and promises to be an eye-opening experience. Anderson Ranch congratulates Anne and Creative Time’s success with Kara Walker’s first large-scale public project, which will be on exhibition until July 6. Click here to read more on this project.
Anne Pasternak will be on campus curating Making the Change They Want to See, our new Symposium Series August 13 – 14. Highlights include Steve McQueen, Mel Chin, Holland Cotter, Superflex and more. To learn more about this event and to purchase tickets, please click here.
The Ranch’s summer program is packed with key contemporary art players and we are excited for this summer’s line up! Check out this summer’s Featured Artists and our other exciting events at andersonranch.org.