Large, trangular shaped silhouette with bumpy edges and a cave-like cut out in the center, in which the silhouette of a nude male figure is seen crawling to the right. Printed over an image showing a flat, desolate landscape with barren trees. Bits of the river running up the center of the image can be seen under and through the cut-out in the silhouette.
Contemporary artist Kara Walker’s work reminds us of the inherent subjectivity of historical perspective. This work is one of 15 prints belonging to Walker’s powerful series in which she enlarges selected images from two volumes of Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (1866–68) and then “annotates” them by superimposing her signature silhouettes, thereby disrupting the original narrative. Walker inserts issues of racial stereotypes, slavery, gender, and the violence of oppression otherwise absent in these mid-19th century representations.
-Ellen Alvord, Weatherbie Curator of Education and Academic Programs, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)
diaspora; slavery; African American; boats
Link to share this object record: