ART
Lori Zimmer

Kara Walker’s Giant Sphinx Made of Sugar Rises Inside the Domino Sugar Factory (PHOTOS)

by , 05/21/14
filed under: Art NYC,Brooklyn



green design, eco design, sustainable design, Kara Walker, Creative Time, Sugar Sphinx, sugar art, eco art, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Domino Sugar Factory

Walker is known for her poignant works that expose issues of race and colonialism, often by using stereotypes as a way for her audience to relate to her message. For this exhibition, she has taken over Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Refining Plant, an iconic structure built in 1882 and shut down in 2004. Creative Time has been staging artistic endeavors in the empty building as it awaits its redevelopment into a mixed-use waterfront residential complex.

Related: NYC Planning Commission Approves $1.5 Billion Domino Sugar Factory Redevelopment Plan

The Sugar Sphinx is modeled after a caricature of an African-American woman and appears naked, crouching forward, and coated with sugar.  Her enormous limbs are surrounded by masses of granulated sugar, which visitors can walk around as they admire her. Encircling the sculpture around the factory halls are other works, which has already begun to melt on opening day. The series of young boy figures, each holding baskets filled with paraphernalia related to sugar refinery, appear to be coated in dark molasses that gently drips in pools onto the factory floor.

Related: Sandy-Destroyed Persian Carpet Made of Real Sugar Gets Restored Thanks to Domino Sugar

Walker’s powerful pieces evoke the controversial history of sugar and its deep link to slavery in the US, as well as more modern issues such as corporate greed and unfair working conditions. The exhibition is free and open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 6, 2014.

+ Kara Walker at Creative Time

Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat. Check out more images on our Flickr stream!

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