Landmarks & VAC Present Kara Walker Exhibition

UT’S LANDMARKS AND VISUAL ARTS CENTER TO CO-PRESENT

KARA WALKER EXHIBITION THIS FALL

 

The Fact of Fiction: Four Works by Kara Walker

September 25 – October 23, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas – This fall, Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, and the university’s Visual Arts Center (VAC) will co-present an exhibition of four video works by Kara Walker. Organized by Kanitra Fletcher, Landmarks Video Curator, The Fact of Fiction extends the Landmarks Video program into the VAC’s Fieldworks gallery—an adaptive exhibition space where students and faculty strengthen connections to external audiences through collaborative workshops, exhibitions, pop-up studios, and other programming. On view from September 25 – October 23, the presentation will feature one work by Walker each week and will be supplemented with online resources and virtual public programs.

Kara Walker rose to prominence in the mid-1990s with her radical retooling of the 18th-century genre of cut paper silhouettes. Turning this genteel craft on its head, Walker created perverse, panoramic vignettes of stark figures—usually black forms against a white wall— engaged in erotic, racially-charged violence. With unflinching authenticity, they address both the history of American slavery and the persistent, residual racism of today.

In 2004, Walker expanded her practice to include film and video, propelling her wall-based works into new dimensions of time and motion. With hand-manipulated silhouettes set against the backdrop of the historical south, Walker’s stationary characters play out to their full, unsettling potential. In four works—Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions (2004); 8 Possible Beginnings or: The Creation of African-America, a Moving Picture by Kara E. Walker (2005); …calling to me from the angry surface of some grey and threatening sea (2007); and Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale (2011)—Walker fills the screen with fantastical yet historically inspired re-imaginings of the past. Each work speaks to the ways that the trauma of past events affects the present.

 

Screening schedule:

* Works will be screened, pending the reopening of The University of Texas this fall. Check landmarksut.org and utvac.org for updates.

September 25 – October 3

Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions, 2004

Black and white video
8:49 min.

October 6 – October 10

8 Possible Beginnings or: The Creation of African-America, a Moving Picture, 2005

Black and white video, sound
15:57 min.

October 13 – October 17

…calling to me from the angry surface of some grey and threatening sea., 2007
Video, color
9:10 min.

October 20 – October 23

Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale, 2011

Video, color, sound
17 min.

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About Landmarks

Landmarks is the award-winning public art program of The University of Texas at Austin. Its collection of modern and contemporary art celebrates diverse perspectives, featuring commissioned projects alongside sculptures on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. By making great art free and accessible to all, Landmarks inspires thought and growth. For more information, visit landmarksut.org.

About the Visual Arts Center

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) is an artist-driven gallery space committed to supporting process-oriented work and providing a platform for emerging artists, curators, and educators to experiment, test ideas, and take risks. We aim to spark generative conversations about art and contemporary society through our exhibitions and public programs. As an experiential learning environment dedicated to confronting the most pressing issues of our time, we invite our community of artists, students, scholars, and audiences of all ages to engage in discourses on race, class, gender, and culture. Located on campus at The University of Texas at Austin, the VAC is open to the public and is always free. More information can be found at utvac.org.

Video stills (from left to right)

Kara Walker, Still from Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions, 2004. Black and white video. 8:49 min. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Kara Walker, Still from 8 Possible Beginning or: The Creation of African-America, a Moving Picture, 2005. Black and white video, sound. 15:57 min. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Kara Walker, Still from...calling to me from the angry surface of some grey and threatening sea, 2007. Video, color. 9:10 min. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Kara Walker, Still from Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, 2011. Video, color, sound. 17 min. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

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