Kara Walker’s Gigantic Sugar-Coated Female Sphinx Makes A Powerful Statement

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Kara Walker’s new sculpture “A Subtlety” is pure white, coated in 160,000 pounds of bleached sugar; with this modern take on the ancient sphinx, the legendary artist crafts a towering black face in honor of the slave laborers who worked in sugar cane fields. The powerful work is meant to address racial and sexual exploitation; like the sugar that coats her polystyrene core, this black female figure has been pressured, against nature, into succumbing to whiteness.

The work is now on display at the old Williamsburg, Brooklyn Domino sugar factory shed, where it reaches to the ceiling and extends for a magnificent 75 feet. The mythical creature is a powerful assertion of the black female self; the face quite resembles the artists’ own, and a carefully wrought bandana subtly references the stereotypical (and often offensive) symbol of the mammy, a slave woman who nurtured and brought up white children. Walker has been the subject of debate in the past for her use of contested imagery, and despite the controversy surrounding the “mammy” figure, she is presented here as powerful and divine.

Like the ancient sphinxes of Egypt and Greece, Walker’s monolithic creation is godly, simultaneously fearsome and comforting. The sphinx, known for protecting the tombs of royalty, becomes the guardian of history, interrupting a white-washed historical narrative to make visible the labor of the men and women who were kept enslaved. Her face is serene, assured, and unyielding. The sphinx character, in addition to being a protector, is also dangerous, renowned for devouring those who cannot answer her riddle; Walker’s sphinx is similarly confrontational in her overwhelming size, forcing viewers to confront the complex and painful history of American industry. (via The New York Times)
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Chris Sisarich’s Desert Landscape Photographs

Chris Sisarich’s photo series Somewhere In The Middle of Nowhere hits home here in Los Angeles, a city built in a desert. The series looks like it could have been anywhere around the world–saudi arabia, egypt, arizona, china, california– and speaks to our constant search for new places for sprawl development and the global warming it’s causing, to our persistance and the futileness of it all. Sisarich’s images, like the desert, are some of the driest, palest images i’ve seen in a while, and with humanity only peripherally represented, the might seem like predictions for our uncertain future. But they don’t feel pessimistic, just as if humanity was this interesting thing that out grew its planet and left behind some neat objects when it left. Whether or not you think the images are prophetic, optimistic, pessimistic, or anything else, they are at the lest very handsome images.

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Amazing Pictures of Protests In Egypt

Our friends in Egypt are still protesting day and night for freedom and democracy from the Mubarak regime. They have defied curfews, been beaten, killed, and assaulted for the rights that most of us get to enjoy every single day. Today is said to be the day that they make their final push to get Mubarak out of office. Lets all join in solidarity in supporting their efforts!

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