About This Artwork
In African’t, Kara Walker’s cutouts are nearly life size, becoming a theater of remembrance and forgetting. Here, blacks and whites, men, women, and children, all participate in pre-Civil War scenes of degradation, sex, and violence. African’t presents many intimate moments within the larger work, pushing traditional narratives and familiar characters (such as Brer Rabbit from the Uncle Remus tales) to physical and psychological extremes of violence and inhumanity. Walker is intent to expose these extremes, these flashes of terror, in the memories and attitudes of the present, demonstrating that the repression of history comes only at society’s peril.