11 October 2013

"I Love That Queasy Feeling" - Kara Walker

The Daily Constitution 1878 (2011) © Kara Walker.

Kara Walker is having her first solo show in the UK. Read the reports/commentaries here and here and here at The Guardian. From the latter of the three I lifted the title to this post and we learn about the image above:
"Two years ago, Kara Walker came across a news story in an edition of the 19th-century Atlanta newspaper the Daily Constitution. The year was 1878; the piece described, in excruciating detail, the recent lynching of a black woman. The mob had tugged down the branch of a blackjack tree, tied the woman's neck to it, and then released the branch, flinging her body high into the air.
This terrible fragment of the past has made its way into a large graphite drawing ... Like much of her work, the drawing is both beautiful and disturbing: here, in grotesque, cartoonish monochrome, is the blackjack tree, the lynched woman spilling blood, her assailants laughing as she dies. As I stand and stare, Walker tells me why she was so drawn to the story. 'It's this completely absurd, extreme, violent situation that required so much perverse ingenuity.'"

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