The ways in which we create the meaning of race through the body, and through fantasies of the body, emerge in the work of this meeting's two speakers. Identity, self and other, as well as the abject other of racism all find expression in visual cues of the body that may be conscious, or unconscious. The art of Kara Walker engages with such tropes in sexually and aggressively charged fantasies of the antebellum south. Figures are depicted in black and white silhouettes, flat shadows that stand for entire worlds of memory, trauma, and belief. The artist will present slides of her work and then speak with the psychoanalyst Kimberlyn Leary, bringing the dimension of words to the visual domain.
Ms. Walker is the recipient of a MacArthur Award and represented the U.S. at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 2002.
Dr. Leary is currently the director of psychology at the Cambridge Hospital, Harvard University.