Kara Walker Speaks at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) Exhibition Opening
In this podcast Kara Walker takes you on a journey through her artistic career, up to and including her exhibition created specifically for the Art Gallery of Ontario. It is obvious that she is well respected not only as an artist in the gallery community, but also as an individual with a voice, and personality and poise. The introduction given to Walker provides a wealth of information that only preludes to the profusion of personal accounts and testimonies given by the artist herself. She gives a clear and detailed overview of some of her most acclaimed gallery exhibitions, elaborating on the process of show and the thoughts behind the characters in her silhouettes. The podcast does a great job of enlightening us on Walker’s other passions including writing, drawing and poetry. Unfortunately, since this speech is only capture in audio format, our immersive experience is limited when Walker starts to speak about selected art pieces shown to the audience on a slide projector. Despite this minor setback, this podcast proves to be important to the research of Kara Walker because it gives us the unique opportunity to learn and understand the narratives behind the silent silhouettes from a first hand perspective. Most importantly, Walker verbally analyzes her personal pursuit to create or find an identity for the abstract, represent most frequently through the figure of a “little black girl”.
Throughout all of the research involved in creating this project, this may be one of the most interesting discoveries yet, and I really commend the AGO for making this readily available to its online users.
Just like the narratives silhouetted on the walls, Walker takes you through the journey and process that has led her be the artist that she is today. Kara Walker has a captivation about her that draws you into her calm and thoughtful patterns of speech. I enjoyed the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the personality behind these installations. Walker is fearless, laughing in the face of her racist surroundings as a youth in the United States and using those experiences as a resource to feed her artistic practice. She has a fierce air of rebellion to the way in which she describes herself and her process that includes re appropriating iconic pieces of art, collecting race infused images, and using her work as an opposition to the traditional forms of macho, heroic art……