This Saturday Kara Walker’s impressive installation at the former Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg will open to the public, and yesterday we got inside for a little sneak peek. The work—her first major public project, commissioned by Creative Time—is still in progress, but mostly complete. The pieces have been created out of “unconventional materials and in monumental scale to examine the history of the sugar trade and its many implications past and present.” The massive, site-specific installation is a bit of a departure from the legendary artist’s previous works.
The centerpiece of the show, called A Subtlety, is a sugar-coated sphinx-like figure that dominates the 30,000-square foot space—the piece is 75.5-feet long, 35.5 feet high, and 26 feet wide. Nearby stand fifteen 5-foot-tall sugar sculptures of young boys “arrayed in a procession leading to” the sphinx.
The show will open Saturday, May 10th, and will be open and free to the public through its closing date of July 6th. Hours are Fridays 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12 to 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, Two Trees’ Richie Rich, villain-in-a-hoodie, Ted Walentas, is actively demolishing other parts of the historic landmark, a fact that deeply saddens the artist:
As the subtitle suggests, the fate of the factory is an integral part of the installation. “It makes me very sad, actually,” said Ms. Walker, standing in the vast former raw sugar warehouse, of its impending demolition. “It’s so deeply embedded with meaning, and to just bulldoze that for the next phase of development is inevitable but it’s tragic.”
(Photos by Tod Seelie/Gothamist)