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Symposium on the recent "Mammy" sculpture of Kara Walker.

The following was an internet dialogue between PAUL CARTER HARRISON CAROL DIEHL BRENDA MARIE OSBEY CLYDE TAYLOR DENNIS KARDON

Paul Carter Harrison

Preamble to Kara Walker Tragi-comedy

It never ceases to amaze me how many African American artists will subordinate their authentic creative visions to the popular narratives of the dominant cultures' indulgence in Black Novelty for the sake of titillation and commodification. A recent play, FETCHIT CLAY, MAKE MAN, written by the talented performance artist, Will Power, is gaining currency on the American theatre circuit largely because Stepin Fetchit, the inimical caricature of black consciousness, is portrayed in the service of the dominant cultures conscience, a minstrel characterization used as a trump card to close the BIG MOUTH of MUHAMMAD AU and champion over the Nation of Islam. When we encounter the Sugar Coated Mammy of Kara Walkers most recent installation, "Subtlety ", we become aware that minstrelsy is alive and well in the precincts of High Culture.

Walker's enterprise, while perhaps more ambitious than Norman Rockwell, borders on being cartoonish, appearing as "arrested development," a grown-up engaged in child-play that is completely unappealing or interesting for mature, certainly not enlightened, consumption. Most tedious is her seeming desire for public expurgation of personal trauma, a self-purging of personal angst to the point of absurd-nauseum that seems more appropriate for clinical examination on the couch of a Shrink, if not otherwise, providing the public an opportunity to engage in the popular American entertainment of voyeurism.

It is astonishing how much attention Ms. Walker receives for work that seems as empty as an Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Can image, and certainly does not measure up to the quality of inventive virtuoso of Barbara Chase Ribaud, Martin Puryear, or Oliver Lee Jackson. Yet, Ms. Walker does have a place in the American "art world" as if black expression must receive its authentication by passing through the hoops of dominant culture adjudication, as if it were the ONLY legitimate authority on artistic practice that matters in the world. The need to interrogate the misappropriation of valid African American expressivity is precisely what prompted our inquiry into African Diasporic aesthetics at Emory University. So, as you can sense, I have no particular fascination for Ms. Walker, nor empathy, merely my sympathy ... (which she obviously does not need on her way to the bank).

Clyde Talyor

What drove me to prod my reliable friend, globe-jetter (and originator of the journal Black Renaissance Noire), Manthia Diawara to venture with me from Greenwich Village to Williamsburg in Brooklyn to see Kara Walker's "Subtlety" was sugar, and how it played and plays a huge role in the unsweetening of the African Diaspora. Inside the Domino factory I became intrigued, fascinated and to my surprise much impressed by what I saw and felt. The piece touched issues of long interest to me: ambitious art beyond museums and galleries; monumentalism (whose latest controversy is the World Trade Center memorial); and different types of irony at play in the gazes of the entitled and the marginalized. Two days later at a dinner party hosted by Paul and Wanda Harrison I found myself recalling my impressions to a score of friends and other guests, who listened with polite silence.

A spike of tricksterism passes among some of my friends, sometimes in the form of signifying. Two weeks after the dinner party I got an email from Manthia. He had collected several addresses of my friends and co-correspondents, including some who had been at that dinner party, with a link to Carol Diehl's piece that "might be interesting to his [my] group." The nearest literary analogy I could think of was Junior High, being shoved into a rumble for the amusement of a fervid crowd. I could not back down from Manthia's public provocation. I was forced to flesh out what I was thinking about "Subtlety," using Carol Dielh's article as a foil.

Some semi-private email commentaries have a way of getting around in a circuit of zero to one degree of separation. The first response I saw, no doubt to what I had written, was Brenda Marie Osbey's exquisite piece harnessing the power of narrative. Her poetry often flows as small or immense histories. My friend Paul Carter Harrison, having read other items on the exhibition beside mine, took it as a teachable moment, as indeed it was. Then followed Barbara Lewis' astute analysis. There may be dozens more commentaries orbiting in other circuits.

I started to plunge back into the debate after reading Paul's statement, then decided against it. By this time the exhibition was due to close the next day and be dismantled. Writing more about what I saw and reacted to--a one-off, site specific construction--would be like dissecting a phantom. There were two primary avenues of approach offered to the sphinx-like figure sugar and the Mammy iconography. Looming close behind was the five-alarm persona of Kara Walker. Even people who saw the exhibit and were disturbed by the Sugar Baby often found it gripping. Some who hadn't seen it (including some at another dinner party "given in my honor" in Los Angeles that felt like an Inquisition) hold strong emotions associated with features of the sculpture and its author. Everyone brings personal feelings and experiences to a work of art, and among Black people these can include deep hurts and tender, sacred, non-negotiable spaces. Some convictions settled before a work was created, or seen, will not change.

My profit from these exchanges is massive. It is a special thing, all too rare, for a single object from a Black artist to produce impassioned discussion among literate non-specialists in widening circles. Everyone who has written on this art scandal has been forced to probe more deeply into their thinking, if not to change it.

Barbara Lewis' piece was written separately.

Carol Diehl

"Dirty Sugar" Kara Walker's dubious alliance with Domino

There's much that disturbs me about Kara Walker's much-lauded and wildly popular installation at Brooklyn's defunct Domino Sugar refinery, but I'll start with its undeniable beauty. Made of sparkling white sugar, this gigantic, crouching sphinx-like figure, with curves like a Brancusi, looms like a symbol of purity in the vast darkness and decay of the factory's interior. The sweet smell is overwhelming, and the piece itself is intended to degrade over time; when I was there, skeletal dark lines were beginning to form between the polystyrene blocks that form the core of the sculpture. Conceptually and figuratively, it's a virtuoso performance that brilliantly fulfills part of nonprofit Creative Time's original mission to "support the creation of innovative, site-specific, socially engaged works in the public realm, especially in vacant spaces of historical and architectural interest ... while pushing artists beyond their "normal boundaries." [SEE NOTE]

So why does its beauty upset me? Because the installations' sheer gorgeousness and spectacle serve as a distraction from the insidious agenda that makes a mockery of another part of Creative Time's mission, to "foster social progress." I have long felt that Walker's work--in which blacks are portrayed as passive victims of slavery engaged in psycho-sexual drama--doesn't invalidate, but rather reinforces the stereotypes whites have imposed on blacks to justify racism, and is entirely dependent on the gratuitous titillation that violence and sex inevitably engender, regardless of the context--or the race of the person who perpetrates them. Walker's sphinx conflates two familiar white parodies of black women: the big-assed, sexually available Jezebel, with her vulva hanging out for the taking, and her opposite, the maternal, large-breasted but desexualized Mammy, who sublimates her own needs to fulfill those of her white charges.

Whites are discouraged from criticizing black artists, but white critics, curators, and collectors are free to ratify work that enrages many black intellectuals, whose protests are then dismissed as attempts at censorship. That Walker's work is celebrated, even tolerated, tells a lot about the racism that's still subtly endemic in the art world; it's hard to imagine a "genius grant" being awarded to an artist, no matter how Jewish, whose specialty was caricatures of big-nosed Jews sucking Nazi dick.

Vulgar photos taken by visitors posing with the "sphinx" are all over Instagram, and castigated online by writers who are upset that the artwork is not being shown proper respect. Derived from minstrel shows where whites in blackface lampooned blacks, the caricatures Walker appropriates were created with the specific intention of provoking ridicule. Should we then be surprised when they succeed?

Roberta Smith in the Times writes that Walker "evokes the history of the sugar trade, its dependence on slavery and slavery's particular degradation of women, while also illuminating the plagues of obesity and diabetes that keep so many American dreams unfulfilled." Yet it can also be said that Walker is providing massive advertising for Domino Sugar, which donated the 80 tons to make the sculpture. As a sponsor, the familiar Domino logo is prominently featured on a wall at the site as well as Creative Time's website, and a Google search for '"Kara Walker" Domino' garners over 88,000 links. Statements that speak of "history," along with the fact that Walker's images are based nostalgically on our antebellum past, present a view of slavery that locates it dangerously outside the present capitalist global economy--when it is still very much part of it.

While Creative Time's website includes a compelling essay written by the narrator of a documentary about the forced and child labor that constitute modern slavery, it doesn't name the mega-corporation that owns Central Romano, the plantation on which it was filmed: Flo-Sun, of which Domino is its best-known subsidiary. If the people at Creative Time, along with Walker, have seen this film--as indeed they must have in their research--I wonder how they feel about the ironic possibility that Walker's sculpture might have been enabled by slave labor.

Pepy and Alfy Fanjul who run Flo-Sun, inherited the sugar empire from their Cuban father. Dubbed "the Koch brothers of Southern Florida," they're said to be friends and neighbors of the Kochs who, in comparison with the sugar barons, look like Mother Theresa clones.

In the Dominican Republic, the Fanjuls have been subject to repeated allegations of labor exploitation, particularly of undocumented Haitian migrant workers with little to no legal standing before Dominican government institutions. The U.S. Department of Labor includes sugar from the Dominican Republic--much of which comes from Fanjul-owned plantations or is imported to Fanjul-owned refineries--on its annual "List of Goods Produced by child and Forced Labor" Both a 2005 Canadian Broadcasting Documentary ["The Price of Sugar," narrated by Paul Newman, and the 2007 film "The Sugar Babies" narrated by Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat [author of the Creative Time essay] call attention to the working conditions of impoverished cane-cutters laboring at the Fanjuls' Central Romana. In the United States, meanwhile, opponents of U.S. agricultural subsidies and government protections have long criticized the Fanjuls for building their dominance in the domestic market on the backs of artificially inflated prices and the U.S. taxpayer....

Essential reading includes the Vanity Fair article, "In the Kingdom of Big Sugar," which inspired the two documentaries, a CNN documentary on how the Fanjuls could be the "First Family of Corporate Welfare," and another on their strong-arm tactics with lawmakers, from Wikileaks.

You could spend days, as I did, reading about the moral and ethical transgressions of the Fanjuls, and just when you think it couldn't get worse, it does: In 2010, the New York Post's Page Six reported that Pepe Fanjuls executive assistant of 35 years is the ex-wife of former KKK leader David Duke, and the current wife of Don Black, a former KKK grand wizard and member of the American Nazi Party. He now runs white-supremacist Web site StormFront.org. A company representative said, "While we may not agree with someone's politics, we wouldn't terminate them for that ... We will not discriminate against anybody ..."

One could also make an issue of the extensive advertising Walker is providing for another sponsor, Two Trees Management, owned by Creative Time board member Jed Walentas, who worked for Trump before taking over his father's real estate business, and will have 1700 luxury apartments to sell in his massive waterfront development on the site (as well as 700 "affordable" units, the number bumped up under pressure from Mayor de Blasio). And then there's the non-renewable polystyrene that went into this gigantic temporary work that, like Styrofoam, could take a million years to break down. However next to the question of how the 80 tons of Fanjul sugar were most likely sourced, these are mere quibbles.

So much for institutionalized protest--this is art packaged to look like radicalism while supporting capitalism at its worst.

Next: "Occupy!" (The Musical), brought to you by Citibank.

NOTE:

I lifted this mission statement from Creative Time's Wikipedia entry, well aware that it is not same statement that appears on their website. However having been Director of Public Relations (a somewhat hilarious title, given that I was the entire department) for Creative Time in the mid-80s, when it was a pioneering organization and very true to its nonprofit status, these were the words I used to promote it and feel best represent the inspired vision of founder Anita Contini.

Carol Diehl is an artist, critic (Contributing Editor, Art in America), and former performance poet (Nuyorican Poets Cafe), based in New York. This article originally appeared on her blog, Art Vent.

Brenda Marie Osbey

Note to Clyde Taylor

A lump of raw sugar mixed with butter and wrapped in plain kerchief was the standard daily fare of enslaved infants and children on Louisiana sugar plantations whose mothers were employed either as mammies to the slaveholders' infants, or else set to labor in the canefields, or even inside the city of New Orleans, and thus were unavailable to breastfeed their own. It was aptly called tette-a-suc'--sugar tit.

Though sometimes offered by older women past lactating, more often this was the job of girls as young as four or five. Not only were infants and children thus consistently fed a diet of no imaginable nutritive value; at a very young age, girl-children were suckered, as it were, into a false belief that they were providing sustenance, and simultaneously made complicit in a form of deprivation that they themselves had likely also experienced.

I'll digress a bit here to point out that while it's true that the current Domino owners weren't around to contribute to or benefit from the slaving industry, the company has indeed continued--except for a brief hiatus following the floods of 2005--to operate as the major employer in its original Louisiana slave industry locale.

The original Domino Sugar Refinery has more than a century-old history in Chalmette, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, just outside the New Orleans city limits. But Chalmette's a place best known for its thoroughgoing hatred of all things Black. This is notable only because a significant portion of the population of St. Bernard Parish is descended from passant-blancs--poor Blacks who left the majority-Black city to pass for white. They remained poor--there not being much wealth-making in St. Bernard--but "escaped" the dreaded black hide. Or so they claimed. Chalmatians, we call them. And, yes, it does rhyme with Dalmatians. The simple fact is that the town itself grew from the sugar plantation of its namesake.

No doubt the work is impressive. Its scale and the labor required for its execution, stunning. And the fact that Walker is a Black woman artist who has researched the history of sugar slavery and exploitation and made a critique in subtle, ironic, sexually expressive, self-loathing and humorous ways all contributes to its provocativeness. Without these, nobody would look. It's important to remember, however, that the self-hatred typical of much if not all Walker's work is not personal. It extends to all of us.

Sugar has been cultivated in Louisiana since the 1600's, the first successful plantings having rooted in what is now the Central Business District of downtown New Orleans. In modern NOLA parlance, sugar tit has come to mean anything offered up as a facsimile but lacking, intentionally or not, the substance and value of the real thing. Corrupt Louisiana politicians white, Black and other, have been offering us sugar tit forever, it seems. Is it any less injurious, are we somehow getting some of our own back, when the servers are Black?

I've written elsewhere about Black art and the Basquiat factor: nobody Black--neither corporations nor institutions, and certainly not individuals--is commissioning or buying or even mounting work by living Black artists at this level. Consider that despite Van Der Zee's long established reputation as an artist, perhaps his best known later work is his portrait of Basquiat.

Much like those babes in arms and their little would-be nursemaids, we are tertiary consumers of a product cultivated for profit elsewhere. Again. We are witness to an art economy not only controlled by, but marketed and pitched by, to and for white consumption--works created by Black artists and marketed and pitched to major white buyers. The fact that we visit gallery spaces, convene panels on, discuss, critique and write about such work may well give the semblance and allure of critical insight and creative intellectual engagement. Somehow it smacks to me of a lot of tette-a-suc'.

Clyde Talyor

Clyde's Response

I almost feel sorry for Carol Diehl, throwing everything she's got at Kara Walker, only to get stuck like Br'er Rabbit on Walker's sugar goddess. Her desperation to make Walker pay for past sins and imagined transgressions leads her into bad arguments. I am close to Diehl on one score: had a White artist plunged so deeply into self-loathing of Whiteness as Walker has done with her Black inheritance, she would not have become such a darling of the culture industry. I don't defend Walker's earlier work, but I hope there are multiple ways of rejecting or condemning it. But Diehl hurls venom at A Subtlety as an art piece simply because Walker made it.

Skipping the issues of authenticity of a work--I argue that the supposed identity of an author is part of the meaning of the piece, a view that Diehl overworks big time--there is another question, whether the identity or ideology of the artist cannot be over-ridden within the work itself. Two examples: Ellison's budding neo-con values could not prevent him from writing the raging Black militant Ras the Destroyer as the most compelling character in Invisible Man. The great classical instance is where Milton in Paradise Lost, as William Blake rightly points out, drew Satan as a dashing romantic rebel more captivating than God, who looks like a grumpy bourgeois landlord by comparison. Some critics call this dissociation of sensibility. Or, like, I just couldn't help myself, despite my good or evil intentions. Which breaks down to say, Okay, so you hate Kara Walker, but how does that hatred automatically condemn this specific work?

The second most pathetic point of attack is the weird list of associations linking Walker as a supporter of Domino sugar and its heritage, including its present owners who were not around when sugar was having its tragic impact on slavery. Diehl goes all over the art plantation scraping up false evidence. Is it ingenuous that she doesn't mention Sidney Mintz's Sweetness and Power: the Place of Sugar in Modern History, which is like talking about evolution and not mentioning Darwin? From the notes of Walker and the essay by Edwidge Danticat, it is clear that Walker's sphinx-goddess sits squarely in a tradition of critique anchored by Eric Williams' Capitalism and Slavery. Mintz carries this analysis deep into the functioning of one commodity, a pioneering work of this kind. Then came tea, cotton, opium, oil, and other narcotics. CLR James jumped onto the analysis of the sugar plantation as industry, and its slave workers as the first proletarians, either before or after Mintz, and DuBois made the same connections to the costly entrance of Blacks into modernity through cotton.

To pretend that Walker did not research this narrative and was its ignorant dupe shows a massive lack of perception when looking at the work. A Subtlety was far too subtle for Diehl. Does the image of a gigantic Black woman in Mammy guise, rendered in white to suggest sugar escape recognition of a powerful trope of the slave past? Jean Toomer's Cane probably gives this concept its most awesome realization. As poet Michael Harper explained in a lecture, leading me to write an essay based on his idea, in the Georgia stories of Toomer's book, the Black characters are metaphorically, like sugar cane, planted, nurtured, cut down, boiled, refined and in many cases bleached into white sugar to be consumed by their enslavers--a kind of evil trans-substantiation.

In Portrait in Georgia, Toomer links the composition of the Southern belle to the tortured Black body that sustains her existence:
 
   Hair--braided chestnut
   coiled like a lyncher's rope ...
   And her slim body white as the ash
   of black flesh after flame. 


Walker understands this relation clearly--as proof, look at oneof her silhouettes of a Black slave woman, arm upstretched to support animage of a White Southern belle of equal size. Fact is, there areglances of rebellion and resistance among her hellish scenes. But then,what are we to do with a critique that faults Walker for the capitalistcorruptions of her sponsors, those who came later than the exploiters inher historical spectacle? I guess we need to denounce Leonardo'sworks for the profit earned from the Borgias, who also funded much ofthe Italian Renaissance. Take the art out of the Met that was supportedby crooked money and you could plant a fine soccer pitch. Art history isnever innocent--I'm quoting somebody; maybe myself. Walker getsblamed for the housing development that will be built on the site of hertemporary public art piece and trashed for the working conditions underwhich her polyurethane material are produced. Graffiti taggers, throwdown your markers!

A Subtlety may be more of a sensation and spectacle than a major work of art, butthere is something large and impressive about its effort to articulatean idea. It says more to me than Christo's drapery of orangesheets in Central Park. One thing is easy to miss: the first thing thathits you when you walk toward the sculpture is the Mammy stereotype ofdistorted minstrel facial features of the sugar goddess. But what iscompliant and humble in that frontal view changes when you see her inprofile. Then you see those same features pressed forward in arrogantcontempt and defiance. Both at once. In mythology a sphinx is where yougo to get answers to portentous questions. And often her answers are ariddle. There are a few riddles in A Subtlety. Diehl missed them all.

Part of the riddle or mystery of the piece is its refusal toconsole. The pronounced vulva at the rear end testifies to both powerand vulnerability ("sweetness and power"). It is surelynot a triumphalist monument (but a mockery). And as a conceptual artworkdestined to dissolve like sugar in somebody else's bowl, it ismore tragic than redemptive. Yet to use a phrase Baldwin knew how tohandle, it witnesses.

Dennis Kardon

Carol, a fascinating piece on the political connections ofDomino, but I would like to respectfully disagree on a few points.

I think it is a mistake to attack Walker on the gratuitoustitillation charge. As originally conceived in her first exhibition atthe Drawing Center, the black paper silhouettes were radical partlybecause of the way they implicated a viewer's imagination withits store of racial and pornographic stereotypes in order to completethe piece. It was the ambiguity that gave the early work thatpower.

It was only after the attack by the black intellectuals thatyou mention which scared her off her original premise, that Walkerstarted to weaken and temporize her work with text, illustration, andgeneral dumbing down and lack of trust in the original power of herwork, making explicit and obvious what was before ambiguous andrequiring a complicity on the part of viewers.

This is the first really great work of hers since then, becauseit again requires that complicity. Rather than temporizing the Dominoconnection it throws it in their face. No one having seen this piece cannow innocently buy a Domino product again. She has made visiblesomething hidden, and easy to stay unaware of, and in a way that bringsthe full horror of it home.

It is important for groups that have been oppressed to takeback the stereotypes that oppressors have used to define them,emphasizing their degrading nature. And people who criticize Walker fordoing this don't really understand the artistic power in the wayshe has most successfully employed it. The work (at its best) is notreally titillating, it is discomfiting. But you are correct that thecriticism of the instagrams is disingenuous. They were to be expected. Idon't think it was Walker that criticized them.

I think this piece is more problematic for Domino, especiallywith your research, than it is for viewers or Walker. As for Two Trees Iam afraid that being in bed with them is pretty self-defeating. I urgeartists not to participate in their open studio celebrations which justraise the value of the real-estate and hasten their own eventualeviction.

Paul Carter Harrison

Forth of July holiday, 2014, and the call for Liberty andJustice still rings hollow in the ears of this Native Son on this finalweekend of the Kara Walker Sugar Coated Mammy--entitled TheSubtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby--at the defunct Domino Sugar Factory in New York. The colossalinstallation, poised in quiet submission on her haunches like a Sphinx,her mammary seeming to memorialize the Sweet Tit of breast-feedingslaves, her bountiful, bare-ass inviting the voyeuristic specter of theVenus Hottentot.

More than 100,000 people--with the conspicuous absence ofpeople of color--have passed through the portals of the Domino Factoryto view and cavort with the Walker spectacle, constructed in thecavernous empty "hull" of the factory, its walls stillspewing with the rancid odors of decayed liquefied sugar, the 35 feethigh/75 feet long structure is coated with 40 tons of refined sugar.Impressive, though it may be in its execution and its monumentality,does it resonate anything more compelling than the novelty of visitingConey Island to view the Bearded Lady?

Skip Gates seems to think so, noting that for "manypeople like myself," mid-brow consumers of culture who are unableto discern between Art and Artifact--or otherwise the canned-laughter ofmanufactured entertainment--the structure is a "startling,palpable image" that "shakes us by the shoulders"with its critique of stereotypes. On the other hand, Nicholas Power wasin attendance and unable to suppress an unrestrained sense of disgustfor the frivolous antics of the white visitors--skittishly posing withinfants between the enormous breasts of the Sugar Coated Mammy, orfatuously posing under the exposed two-foot length vulva of hergargantuan bare buttocks--causing him to exclaim impatiently:"You're recreating the very racism this art is supposed tocritique."

However disquieting to those of us intimately connected to theMammy iconography, Clyde Taylor, who never fails to direct ourconsciousness to the nuances of cultural production, observes that theSphinx posture offers a riddle in "its refusal toconsole," noting that the "pronounced vulva ... testifiesto both power and vulnerability." And while Powers invokesDuBois' Double-Consciousness, "the sense of always lookingat one's self through the eyes of the other," Clydeinvokes Baldwin in support of the icon, viewing the Sugar Coated Mammyas "a witness." I, on the other-hand, view themanipulation of the icon from a more or less cynical posture, one thatsuggest that it represents very private sexual pathologies that havebeen unresolved for the artist/manufacturer. Its public exposition istantamount to self-loathing if not self-flagellation.

When Norman Reid approached three white women engrossed in theSugar Baby and asked what they thought was its significance, theysummarily, without missing a beat, observed that the work was about theexploitation of WOMEN ... (read WHITE WOMEN). While the visitors to theexhibit seem completely in the dark about the significance of theiconography beyond their personal history or novelty of a culturalevent, Clyde insists that the artist is well aware of the 130 yearhistory of the slaves that produced the sugar from cane plantationsthroughout the diaspora to the sweat labor of the Domino Sugar refinery(and that the work has a peculiar resonance at least for the blackviewers). But, then, how could the visitors know when the sign paintednear the entrance--and obscured by the anticipated excitement ofentering the mysterious inner-chamber--to the refinery reads:"Subtlety--or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an homage to the unpaidand over-worked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the Canefields to the Kitchens of the New World on the occasion of thedemolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant."

And, yet, on this final weekend, an aging docent for theexhibit who had spent 20 years toiling in the char house where mounds ofunbleached sugar crystals burned in kilns at 140 degree temperatures,regrets that the factory will soon be razed to build luxury houses,demolishing even the curious installation, its place in the history ofSugar lost forever. The aging black docent, redolent of the plantationSlave's remorse when the Master's house was under siege,laments that if he were a rich man, he'd "put it downtownin a climate-controlled greenhouse ... donate it to the city" asa monument to the story of "Sugar."

I have to concur with Brenda Marie Osbey's observationthat much like babes-in arms, "we are tertiary consumers of aproduct cultivated for profit elsewher ... we are witness to an arteconomy not only controlled by, but marketed and pitched by, to, and forwhite consumption ... the fact that we visit gallery spaces, convenepanels on, discuss, critique, and write about such work may well givethe semblance and allure of critical insight and creative intellectualengagement. Somehow, it smacks to me of a lot oftette-a-suc (Sugar Tit)."

I wonder what story would be invented for the American publicif a favorite icon like the Statute of Liberty were replicated as anude, 2-Story sensuous Siren of the Sea, coated like a Tar Baby,triumphantly holding up a male organ by the testicles, her legs spreadopen seductively, inviting the hungry masses of the world to enter acavernous vulva that appears like a mysterious Venus Fly Trap.

End of story!
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Date:Sep 22, 2014
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