New York Magazine asks what’s next for Kara Walker, in the biggest sense, but also contains a clue to what’s next for her just in terms of having another prominent art project. Here’s one answer:
“After A Subtlety, everybody was asking me to do something in a grist mill or some industrial setting,” she says. Last year, megacollector Dakis Joannou’s deste Foundation for Contemporary Art offered a former slaughterhouse on the island of Hydra in Greece; beginning on June 20, the left hand of the Sugar Baby, making the figa gesture, will be displayed in the center of the facility. “What’s going to happen is, this summer, the important art people of the world are going to go to the Venice Biennale, and then they’re going to go to Art Basel, and then some of them are going to get on a boat and come to Hydra and see something they’ve already partially seen,” she says confidently. Currently, it’s sitting in a box in a storage facility “in New Jersey or Long Island.”
“I just felt conflicted,” Walker says, speaking of the hand. “I destroyed the whole piece but I felt something should remain. I didn’t keep the head around because I didn’t want her just sitting around, staring at me.” The interaction of art and place will no doubt inspire prognostications about the nature of relics in the age of the migrant crisis, about the line connecting the genesis of democracy in Greece and the mutilation of women in America. But right now all the curators are worrying about is how they’ll get the gigantic hand through the slaughterhouse door. Walker isn’t. “ ‘You may not cut the hand in half,’ ” she says she told them. “I can make another piece, but I don’t want to, since we’re running out of time,” she says.
After the Sphinx, Kara Walker Is a New Kind of Public Figure (Vulture/NYMag)