“The silhouette says a lot with very little information, but that’s also what the stereotype does” - Kara Walker

This week the Brooklyn Museum Library is highlighting works in our collection by and about the artist Kara Walker to coincide with the recent installation of a sculpture by her at the Museum. The sculpture – “African Boy Attendant Curio (Bananas)” – was recently exhibited in the art installation entitled “A Subtlety”  located in Brooklyn’s cavernous, defunct Domino Sugar factory. The massive public art project was organized by Creative Time, headed by incoming Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak.

Walker’s more delicate work in the medium of cut silhouettes combines as many contradictions as the monumental, yet temporary, Domino installation.

Working with silhouettes in a variety of materials, Walker injects an unexpected complexity into this seemingly simple medium. Many of Walker’s figures display the elaborate costumes and hair pieces of aristocrats in the antebellum period – but a closer look reveals more unsettling elements – themes of race, sexuality and violence appear unexpectedly in the shadows.  

In the collection of the bkmlibrary the artist book Five poems by Toni Morrison is illustrated with silhouettes by Kara Walker that are almost whimsical – but look closer and they are perhaps not  what they seem.

Seeing the unspeakable: the art of Kara Walker; Kara Walker : after the deluge and Kara Walker : my complement, my enemy, my oppressor, my love  all showcase exhibits and works by Walker that use the precise and delicate imagery of the silhouette, as well as vivid collages, to display sometimes disturbing scenes of life in both the old South and in our own time. The bkmlibrary owns much more by and about Kara Walker - just take a look

Posted by Roberta Munoz      

anonymous asked:

Do you know the book Keeping You A Secret? If you do, what are your opinions on it? Personally, I didn't like it and I felt like Her Name In The Sky was a better representation of finding out your sexuality in your teenage years.

I read KYAS two summers ago. It’s not my favorite representation of coming to terms with queer sexuality - for one thing, I think the leads exist in too much of a social vacuum - but I respect that for many readers, it’s a story that hits home. I’m pretty sure KYAS is one of my friend Kara’s favorite books, and she has good taste (cue Roch chiming in). 

You also have to appreciate that KYAS was first published over a decade ago, in 2003, when there were fewer YA lesbian books. You had Nancy Garden’s novels (timeless and exquisite), Sara Ryan’s Empress of the World, and…what else? (Seriously, what else? Remind me.) There was also less LGBT representation in general. Ellen’s talk show had not yet debuted. The L Word was still a year away. Glee was six years away. Forget OITNB and PLL and Faking It and Grey’s and any other show that featured ladies who liked ladies (seriously, what did we have back then?). And to give you some political context, same-sex marriages were not yet legal anywhere. It wasn’t until 2004, a year after Keeping You a Secret was published, that Massachusetts became the first state to legalize SSM. 

So in that context, I think we have to appreciate KYAS for what it was: a bold book that told the simple story of one teenage girl falling for another. It stood out, perhaps, because it was a twenty-first century story and it focused on adolescents rather than grown women. But it would not have come to be without the legacy of lady-lovin’ books that had come before it: The Well of Loneliness, The Price of Salt, Rubyfruit Jungle, and countless more. Similarly, Her Name in the Sky would not have come to be without KYAS’ twenty-first century/adolescent precedent. New literature builds off existing literature, you know? 

The exciting thing is that our database of YA lesbian (and YA LGBT) novels will only continue to grow from here–including a stream of more and more books that showcase LGBT characters without focusing on the LGBT “issue” (though we will always have “coming out books” because coming out is an evergreen, continuously-evolving, highly personal story). I think some people would look at your Ask and find it reductive because it compares one coming out story to another, but I actually think it’s a good thing because it shows we’re getting to a point where we have the luxury of choosing one interpretation over another. That’s a luxury straight people have had forever–to be able to choose a narrative that suits them–so they get to decide between Casablanca and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, depending on their mood and taste. 

Anyway, thanks for the message–obviously it got me thinking! 

For more YA lesbian books, see here and here and here

For more on lesbian literature in general, check out my friend Martha’s blog - she’s an expert. 


New Supergirl trailer. 

After 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Twelve-year-old Kara escaped the doomed planet Krypton with her parents’ help at the same time as the infant Kal-El. Protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), and learned to conceal the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin in order to keep her identity a secret. Years later at 24, Kara lives in National City assisting media mogul and fierce taskmaster Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who just hired the Daily Planet’s former photographer, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), as her new art director. However, Kara’s days of keeping her talents a secret are over when Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), head of a super-secret agency where her sister also works, enlists her to help them protect the citizens of National City from sinister threats. Though Kara will need to find a way to manage her new found empowerment with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies as Supergirl to fight crime.

Supergirl will premier October 26 at 8:30 pm on CBS before shifting to its normal time slot of 8 pm on Monday nights.

anonymous asked:

What is your favourite period in Egyptian history?

I’m a New Kingdom kinda girl.

All eras in Egyptian history have their charm and allure but personally, I have always loved the exceptional stuff that went on during the New Kingdom the most. I wrote a paper on Hatshepsut in uni because she is by far my favourite figure in history (if you haven’t read it, go read Kara Cooney’s recent book, The Woman Who Would Be King. Although she admits it’s a lot of speculation on her end, it’s all very good speculation), and other than that the New Kingdom has brought forth figures like the Heretic of Amarna and the entire Ramesside line.

Just my thoughts, but that’s what you asked for :D

Guest Post: Goals, Emotions, and Body Language: How to Create Realistic Characters by Kara Jorgensen
One of the most important processes while writing a story is creating realistic characters. Characters can sink or carry a book, and what readers often complain about is a story with “cardboard cut...

A guest post I wrote for Kate M. Colby’s blog about creating realistic characters.