Sugar Tits

Last month, an artist by the name of Karen Walker showed a provocative art exhibition about sugar and slavery in Williamsburg. it was in an old sugar refinery that is due to be torn down soon, so seeing the exhibition was literally a now-or-never moment. I was glad that I did. The humongous sphinx made entirely of sugar was definitely worth the trip. Although the exhibition was titled ‘A Subtlety’, it was anything but.

Plenty of folks enjoyed ‘A Subtlety’ but it was certainly not without its haters. And then there were the hater haters. That’s New York, though – everybody has an opinion and feels the need to share it loudly. One particularly popular article basically described the exhibition as crowds of white people making fun of black slavery. This started to scare away nervous folk and polarised everyone’s opinions. I decided to go anyway and make up my own mind. Judge me not.

I’m pleased to say that I only witnessed one person stamping and screaming, but this person was about 4 years old and just needed a nap. The rest of the people were happy, hushed and enjoying the spectacle while discussing with friends and taking plenty of selfies. Only about 40% of the crowd were white and they weren’t the ones that I saw poking fun at the sphinx. In short, it just felt like a regular crowd at an art exhibition with a particularly interesting center-piece.

Karen shared her provocative art with the people and the people enjoyed it. I don’t think she intended for her audience to be scrutinized by a few judgemental journalists in the corner. She wanted to pay homage to black slaves that brought sugar to the New World, and she chose to do it with huge, sugary tits. Then she asked the audience to put it on Instagram and they did.

The judgemental article – http://www.bkmag.com/2014/06/09/white-people-problems-on-kara-walker-and-the-way-white-people-interact-with-black-art/
The hysterical article – http://gawker.com/the-audacity-of-no-chill-kara-walker-in-the-instagram-1585944103
Photos – http://gothamist.com/2014/07/05/reminder_this_weekend_is_last_chanc.php
‘Making of’ video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRkP5rcXtys

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Comments
One Response to “Sugar Tits”
  1. kdisleaze says:

    Initially when I saw the title of your email, I thought it was a personal message to me, as that’s my nickname from someone at work! ;)

    What an amazing exhibition, I would have loved to have seen it! I find it really boring when stupid people don’t get the meaning of things and take offence, when someone is highlighting an important issue. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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