Where are all the sugar-seeking pests at Kara Walker’s multi-ton installation made of the stuff, “A Subtlety”? We investigated this aspect of the show at the soon-to-be leveled Domino Sugar Factory a few weeks ago. The appearance of a few ants at opening night and the threat of bird-mite-carrying pigeons aside, the sculpture, constructed from 160,000 pounds of uncoated sugar, has attracted shockingly few unwanted pests.
We’d previously credited the absence of vermin at the site to speculations on ant migration in Brooklyn and the hostile environment of a live construction site. However, the unexplained absence of unwanted critters may turn out to have a more tangible cause. In a recent comment to Hyperallergic, Two Trees Principal and Creative Time Board Co-chair Jed Walentas confided:
Ever since we acquired the Domino Sugar site two years ago, the only sign we have seen of any urban pests are a family of raccoons who [have called] the site home for some time. Although we have not seen any sign of them of late in the Raw Sugar Warehouse, they definitely deserve credit for keeping other vermin away.