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Published 18/10/2013 email E-MAIL print PRINT

Kara Walker: interview

At the opening of Kara Walker's first UK exhibition, we spoke to her about her work, which is a dark and, at times, sinister, exploration of race, gender, sexuality and violence in American history and society

Best known for her life-size black paper silhouettes, Walker’s work is often displayed in the form of cyclorama, with light projections causing visitors’ shadows to intermingle with the fictional – and factual – characters on the walls.

Kara Walker, The Sovereign Citizens’ Sesquicentennial Panorama, 2013. Installation view, Camden Arts Centre, London. Photo: Marcus Leith.

More recent works include puppet films telling open-ended narratives about the abuse of power. “I don’t know how much I believe in redemptive stories,” says Walker. “Triumph never sits still. Life goes on. People forget and make mistakes. Heroes are not completely pure, and villains aren’t purely evil. I’m interested in the continuity of conflict.”

Kara Walker, Fall From Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, 2011. Installation view, Camden Arts Centre, London. Photo: Marcus Leith.

Kara Walker: We at Camden Arts Centre are Exceedingly Proud to Present an Exhibition of Capable Artworks by the Notable Hand of the Celebrated American, Kara Elizabeth Walker, Negress
Camden Arts Centre, London
11 October 2013 - 5 January 2014

Interview by ANNA McNAY

Kara Walker, Dixie in the Dogwoods, 2010. Installation view, Camden Arts Centre. Photo: Martin Kennedy.

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