ICP heads to Brooklyn

photo 3The Institute for Curatorial Practice (ICP) students and faculty traveled to Williamsburg, Brooklyn yesterday to see Kara Walker’s work “A Subtlety.”     I was lucky enough to be able to tag along.

Creative Time, a non-profit organization that commissions and presents ambitious public art projects, approached the artist Kara Walker to see if she would create a work for the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.   The factory, built in 1856, was refining over half of the  sugar consumed in America by 1870; it is slated to be demolished after Walker’s work is exhibited (on view until July 6).

As you can see from these photos, Walker constructed an immense “mammy” in the shape of a sphinx made out of sugar (with all sorts of inherent paradoxes) that overwhelms the viewer with its discomfiting presence.   KaraWalker1

KaraWalker2In addition to the 75-foot sphinx, the space also contains several smaller, disintegrating sculptures crafted from resin and covered in molasses.photo 4

The ICP students are spending 5 weeks working on digital curation, and Walker’s work has a digital component, whereby the public can help build the digital sugar baby (an interactive 3D version of Walker’s work) by adding their images: http://creativetime.org/karawalker/digital-sugar-baby/.   With works such as “A Subtlety” that will be dismantled after a relatively short amount of time, the digital record becomes the only record of the work.

Our ICP students will curate their own digital exhibits as well as an exhibit on Hampshire College Library’s Magic Board at the end of their program.    Saturday’s trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is sure to motivate and provide inspiration and generate ideas for our participants.   Many thanks to Anna Schrade, Karen Koehler, and John Stomberg for conceiving of and organizing the trip.



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