The exhibition features works ranging from her signature black cut-paper silhouettes to film animations to more than 100 works on paper. Set in the American South before the Civil War, Walker’s compositions play off stereotypes to portray—often grotesquely—life on the plantation, where masters, mistresses, slave men, women, and children enact a subverted version of the past in an attempt to reconfigure their status and representation. The Hammer was the sole West Coast venue for the exhibition, which has been hosted in Minneapolis, Paris, and New York. Earlier in 2008, Lannan Foundation made a grant to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in support of the creation of the exhibition and its related publication.
The Hammer Museum at the University of California at Los Angeles received support for the presentation of the exhibition, Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, on view from March 2-June 8, 2008.