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Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power

The exhibition Emancipating the Past presents three narrative portfolio series, executed in print—The Emancipation Approximation (1999–2000), Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War: Annotated (2005), and An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters (2010)—accompanied by single works that underline Walker's employment of Antebellum and Reconstruction-era imagery and themes.

The works on view include several of Walker's large-scale print series, cut-steel sculptures, a mural, and a video installation, displaying the range of approaches the artist has taken to exploring the legacy of slavery and its impact on contemporary American identity. Her use of antiquated media such as cut-paper silhouettes, 8mm film, and 19th-century printmaking, augments the breadth of the works on view.
Relevant research areas: North America, Contemporary

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