Brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, rum, sugar baby, sugar cookie, sugar daddy—seems we all need a little sugar! But wait! There’s more to sugar than meets the eye or the tongue.
On the occasion of her first large-scale public project, presented by Creative Time at the legendary Domino refinery, Abumrad and Walker will explore the history and meaning of sugar. Their conversation will follow the route of the triangle trade, from Africa to America, from ancient monuments to modern appetites, from behemoth, crumbling temples of industry to the laborers and slaves often unseen in those histories. It's a history of sugar, sex, sweetness, power, and the secret mystery at the center of the exhibition.
Kara Walker is best known for cut-paper silhouettes and tableaus that complicate traditional narratives of power and repression. Walker’s provocative work, which has taken the form of drawing, painting, text-based work, video, film, performance, and cyclorama, retells historic moments, such as slavery in the Antebellum South and Hurricane Katrina, and has frequently been the subject of controversy. She has received numerous awards, perhaps most notably in 1997, when she was the second-youngest person ever to receive a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.”
Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab. He's been called a "master of the radio craft" for his unique ability to combine cutting edge sound-design, cinematic storytelling and a personal approach to explaining complex topics, from the stochasticity of tumor cells to the mathematics of morality. Jad studied creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. He composes much of the music for Radiolab, and in the past has composed music for film, theater and dance. He's currently co-producing two toddlers.
In 2011, Radiolab received a Peabody Award, the highest honor in broadcasting. That same year, Jad was named a MacArthur "genius."
Co-presented by Creative Time and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
LIVE from the NYPL is made possible with generous support from Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.