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Subtil process

Adam Moss bok The Work of Art inleds med att konstnären Kara Walker berättar om hur hennes verk “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant” kom till.

Från en tidig PowerPoint-skiss:

It was a way of synthesizing material, but it also has a rhythm and poetry to it. I was gathering images that included the chickens but then went into voodoo and rum and sugar and the transatlantic slave trade. I started to read about the process of sugar refining, and that it’s not a given that sugar should exist in the world.

Något som gjorde uppdragsgivarna lite nervösa, givet att verket skulle bo i en gigantisk lagerlokal tidigare använd som sockerfabrik:

And so the PowerPoint is what I gave Creative Time. I said, “I think I’m getting closer.” And they were like, “What is it, exactly? Is it going to be a slideshow?” And I said, “No, no, this isn’t the piece!”

Om insikten vad det skulle bli:

And here’s what happened: I was on the Q train. And I was reading the Sidney Mintz book [“Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History” från 1985]. And there’s a section where he talks about the “subtleties” – these special decorative [sugar ornaments] exclusively for kings, for the celebration of weddings…and you know, we’re so used to fucking sugar we don’t even realized how special sugar is…

And I was just like, Oh, it’s a sugar sculpture!

And I realized the Sphinx was the perfect sort of ruin. And that was the big moment.

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