Tag Archives: slavery

Kara Walker Exhibition @ Camden Arts Centre

アフリカ系アメリカ人女性アーティスト・Kara Walker(カラ・ウォーカー)のイギリスで初めての個展が、Finchley Road駅近くにあるCamden Arts Centreで、10月11日から翌年1月5日まで開催されている。彼女の作品は正直好きではないのだが、Mが同じ学校卒、友人が彼女の元彼だった縁で多少彼女のことを知っているので、見に行ったのだ。





The first major UK show of African American artist Kara Walker is held at Camden Arts Centre near Finchley Road station, from Oct 11 to Jan 5, 2014. I knew her work is not my cup of tea, but we went see the show, solely because M went to the same school with her and knows her a little via his friend.

Each three rooms shows a different type of work — Walker’s best known folkloric cut-paper; drawings; and a video work featuring a puppet show. Her work is all about America’s gruesome history of slavery, and is full of violence and sex, filled with negative auras such as aggression, grudges, and grotesques. Does she wants to punish the viewers, predominantly white audience, to make them feel bad about what they did in the past??

What happened to the slaves at that time is unacceptable and unforgiven, and everybody should’t forget about it. But learning history is not what I expect from art, and I rather read a history book or to watch a documentary. I want positive energy from art, not disturbance. In fact I was moved much more by visiting Auschwitz than Walker’s work. I don’t understand the reason of her massive anger she expressed in her work. She hasn’t experienced slavery, but has lived middle-class life in liberal and academic atmosphere, and her work is not convincing but pretentious to me. She says how racist American south is, but her claim is a bit too subjective – does she say these things to meet an expectation of people with stereotype against the south?? Waker said, ‘I don’t want to do what’s expected of me as a black artist’ in Guardian’s interview, but to me, that’s exactly what she does.


British media often portray that racist is still strong in America, but I think UK is the same or even worse. Politically incorrectness is deeply imprinted in their mind, and never say anything face to face or in public just to avoid the trouble. You can even get arrested by making racial remarks here! America had slavery in the past, but British, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Dutch were the ones traded the slaves from Africa to the Americas, so they are equally guilty. Americans do talk about the slavery and learn from it, but British? I seldom see the documentaries and movies about the slave trades nor colonialism and exploitation, but much more about Nazis. I think It’s not fair.