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no world
From the series An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters

Kara Walker, American, born 1969. Printed by Burnet Editions, New York.

Printed in New York, New York, United States, North and Central America


Lift ground and spit bite aquatint, and drypoint

Plate: 24 x 35 3/4 inches (61 x 90.8 cm) Sheet: 30 1/4 x 39 5/16 inches (76.8 x 99.9 cm)

© Kara Walker

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Marion Stroud Fund for Contemporary Art on Paper, 2010

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In her series of six etchings An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters, Walker constructs enigmatic images that reflect on the traumatic history of the transatlantic slave trade and its legacy of violence and racial strife. In no world, one of two prints from the series on view here, Walker ambiguously alludes to the futile prospects for slaves who were shipped to the Americas. With no real hope of freedom, the woman submerged in the ocean might be swimming in an attempt to escape, or drowning as a victim of shipwreck. Meanwhile, the caricatured figures on shore suggest an unsettling future for those who survive the treacherous journey.