In the sketches, paper murals, and projections of Kara Walker, precisely drawn figures interact in highly animated dramas that call into question the viewer’s relationship to the heavy-hitting issues of contemporary American social politics: race, gender, sexuality, and our national history of slavery. An interest in these players is shared by writer and critic Hilton Als, whose book The Women presents a meditation on the roles gender and race play in the forging of personal identity and relationships. Join Walker and Als for a conversation on Walker’s work and the contemporary portrayal of “the Negress,” a term they both employ to generate a discussion of these issues.
An installation of Walker’s drawings, paper murals, and animation is on view in the exhibition Quartet: Barney, Gober, Levine, Walker in the Friedman Gallery. Als is a staff writer at the New Yorker as well as a theater critic, script writer, and editor.