Kara Walker's installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn is one of the art events we're looking forward to most this spring. It will be the artist's first large-scale show, and she is taking on a New York relic, one that is doomed for demolition and has become a symbol of the changes (and gentrification of) Brooklyn's waterfront. Known for her racially charged cutouts, often depicting scenes of slavery, Walker will open the much-anticipated show, "A Subtly," on May 10.
In the teaser video released by Creative Time, the installation promises to bridge the past and present, a theme that runs through Walker's other works and is also an appropriate farewell to the Domino Sugar Factory. The work is "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"—in another word, slaves.
It's still unclear how the installation will take shape, but we expect that Walker will show us that sugar isn't always sweet.
UPDATE APRIL 25 2:20 P.M. ET: Kara Walker's installation includes a "mammy" sphinx, a black character covered in the blazing white of 160,000 pounds of sugar. The New York Times writes of the monumental piece, "The sphinx is something like Ms. Walker’s realization of that dream, but as a racist’s nightmare: The figure may be wearing a mammie’s kerchief, but she’ll never be beaten into submission."