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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Hyundai Commission: Kara Walker


Tate Modern / London / Art

The Hyundai Commission enters into its fifth year with an installation by the Black artist Kara Walker. Known for racially charged imagery cut from black paper—silhouettes that pull viewers into the nightmare of slavery—Walker’s art incites action. As the philosopher Alain de Botton wrote in his book, Art as Therapy, “Having imbibed the ideals that art displays, we should fight to attain in reality the things art merely symbolizes.” For this commission, Walker has created a working sculptural fountain, 13 meters high, that invokes the commerce of the transatlantic slave trade, and its sins. —J.V.

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