Weems Forces Us to Confront Hard Issues in New Retrospective

posted by – 09/20/12 @ 11:03am

Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video will open at the Frist this weekend. The exhibition was curated by Katie Delmez, and has gained much hype and excitement both in Nashville and nationally. Weems has spent her career as a photographer exploring issues of race, gender and the subjugation of people. Delmez was quoted in the New York Times explaining “When you’re talking about Carrie Mae Weems, you’re going to talk about race and gender and classism, but I really think it goes beyond that to her desire to insert all marginalized people into the historical record, as she says, to tell the stories that have been ignored or forgotten or erased.” In her 1995-96 series “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried” for example, Weems takes historical photographs of slaves, dyes them blood red, and inscribes sayings such as “An Anthropological Debate,” and “Some Said You Were the Spitting Image of Evil”. Weems also uses herself as the subject in many of her photographs to comment on the marginalization of female artists, especially African American ones, throughout art history. In her 1997 series “Not Manet’s Type” she laments the idolization of the white body in art. Because it provides the first retrospective of this influential artist who deals with such profound issues, this exhibition is thought to position the Frist among the major art museums and institutions in the country. The show will go on to travel, and finally end up at the Guggenheim in New York. This is not to be missed while it is still in Nashville!

“From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried”

"Not Manet's Type"

 

 

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