Carrie Mae Weems II Over Time

Carrie Mae Weems II Over Time
23 January - 29 February 2020
Installation View
Carrie Mae Weems
The First Major Blow, 2008
Archival pigment print

Carrie Mae Weems
Suspended Belief, 2009
Archival pigment print

Carrie Mae Weems
Scenes & Takes (Director's Cut), 2016
Laminated pigment print mounted on board, screen printed text on gesso board

Carrie Mae Weems
Scenes & Takes (The Bad and the Beautiful), 2016
Laminated pigment print mounted on board, screen printed text on gesso board

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Song to Sing) , 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Hammer), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (And a Sickle), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (By Any Means Necessary), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Precise Moment in Time), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Hot Day), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Hot Spot In A Corrupt World), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (An Informational System), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Cool Drink of Water), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Dagger), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Bell to Ring), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Veiled Woman), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Little Black Magic), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (An Armed Man), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (Some Theory), 1991
Polaroid Print

Carrie Mae Weems
Scenes & Takes (Vertigo), 2016
Laminated pigment print mounted on board, screen printed text on gesso board

Carrie Mae Weems
Scenes & Takes (In the Carefully Construction Fusion), 2016
Laminated pigment print mounted on board, screen printed text on gesso board

Carrie Mae Weems
Mahalia, 2010
inkjet on paper

Carrie Mae Weems
String Theory, 2016
inkjet print

Carrie Mae Weems
The British Museum, 2006-present
Digital c-print

Carrie Mae Weems
As Fate Would Have It, 2008
Archival pigment print

Carrie Mae Weems
A Class Ponders the Future, 2008
Archival pigment print

Carrie Mae Weems
The Assassination of Medgar, Malcolm and Martin, 2008
Archival pigment print

Carrie Mae Weems
All the Boys (Blocked 1), 2016
Archival pigment print and silkscreened panel mounted on gesso board diptych

Carrie Mae Weems
All the Boys (Blocked 3), 2016
Archival pigment print and silkscreened panel mounted on gesso board diptych

Carrie Mae Weems
People of a Darker Hue, 2016
Video

Carrie Mae Weems II Over Time - Installation View

23 January - 29 February 2020

Carrie Mae Weems

The First Major Blow

Carrie Mae Weems

Suspended Belief

Carrie Mae Weems

Scenes & Takes (Director's Cut)

Carrie Mae Weems

Scenes & Takes (The Bad and the Beautiful)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Song to Sing)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Hammer)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (And a Sickle)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (By Any Means Necessary)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Precise Moment in Time)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Hot Day)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Hot Spot In A Corrupt World)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (An Informational System)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Cool Drink of Water)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Dagger)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Bell to Ring)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Veiled Woman)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (A Little Black Magic)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (An Armed Man)

Carrie Mae Weems

And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (Some Theory)

Carrie Mae Weems

Scenes & Takes (Vertigo)

Carrie Mae Weems

Scenes & Takes (In the Carefully Construction Fusion)

Carrie Mae Weems

Mahalia

Carrie Mae Weems

String Theory

Carrie Mae Weems

The British Museum

Carrie Mae Weems

As Fate Would Have It

Carrie Mae Weems

A Class Ponders the Future

Carrie Mae Weems

The Assassination of Medgar, Malcolm and Martin

Carrie Mae Weems

All the Boys (Blocked 1)

Carrie Mae Weems

All the Boys (Blocked 3)

Carrie Mae Weems

People of a Darker Hue

Goodman Gallery Cape Town
January 23 – February 29 2020

Goodman Gallery is pleased to present Over Time, a solo exhibition by Carrie Mae Weems first shown in Johannesburg last year.

Throughout her career Weems’ works have compelled viewers to actively consider how the world is structured, revealing systems of oppression and inequality while exploring the relationships between power, class, race and gender. Over Time present several bodies of work, which look at these themes in relation to how the past comes to bear on the present. In this regard Weems reflects on history in order to engage with the present and question where we might be going.

In her work Mahalia (2010) Weems considers the ways in which perception is shaped by socially constructed collective memory. This works features a blurred image of Mahalia Jackson, a musician and women of colour who did not receive due recognition for her artistic and social contributions. The blurring of this images references this fact, highlighting the struggle of black women to remain visible within a society that sidelines them.

This motif extend to Weems’ All the Boys (Profile) and All the Boys (Blocked) series (2016). The works respond to the police killings of black people in America, bringing urgent attention to the “systematic, brutal authority of the state that is systematically directed against black bodies”. While Weems uses the same technique of blurring figures, as curator Courtney Taylor notes, these blurred figures are not recognisable individuals and are “unmoored from any reference beyond our own imaginings”. Despite there being no signs that these figures are dangerous, due to the underlying racist imagining in America their presence alone conjures criminality.

In All the Boys (Blocked) Weems emphasises this tragic reality by pairing police reports next to these blurred portraits. In the video work People of a Darker Hue Weems continues to explore this painful reality. The work at once exposes the police killings of unarmed black people while paying tribute to them through a 14-minute short which invites the viewer to reflect on enforcement practices and policies that impact communities of color. Weems narrates the film taking on the role of informer and mourner as she lists the names of unarmed men and women killed due to police violence.

In her Museum Series (2005 – present), Weems photographs herself standing outside major cultural institutions and museums with her back facing the camera. By positioning herself in this manner, she invites the viewer to see the institutions through her eyes, as someone whose stories and experiences have traditionally been ignored by these powerful institutions, which, for the most part, have collected and exhibited work by white European men.

Weems’ Scenes and Takes series (2016) expands on this exclusion with regard to women of colour in Hollywood and mainstream cinema. However, in some of these works she illustrates how the status quo is slowly starting to shift by positioning herself on the sets of shows such as Empire, How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal, which feature women of colour in lead roles.

In the body of work Constructing History (2008), Weems self-reflexively considers the role photography plays in shaping our imaginings and our relationship to history. In this series the artist collaborated with students from the Savannah College of Art and Design to re-stage scenes from iconic photographs. For Weems, “through the act of performance, with our own bodies, we are allowed to experience and connect the historical past to the present – to the now, to the moment. By inhabiting the moment, we live the experience; we stand in the shadows of others and come to know firsthand what is often only imagined, lost, forgotten.”

In dialogue with these works is Weem’s series And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People (1991). This series of 15 Polaroid photographs paired with text examine how the oppressed have rebelled against the systems which abuse them. The images are paired with text which contextualise them in a particular way, influencing how they are read. Installed in close proximity to each other, the works read as a list of elements present at a specific moment in time when individuals have been united by a common cause and rebel.

Carrie Mae Weems

Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power. Using photography, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video, Weems compels viewers to actively consider how the world is structured, bringing to light systems of oppression and inequality. 

Weems is the recipient of prestigious awards, grants and fellowships, including the BET Honors Visual Artist award, the Lucie Award for Fine Art photography, the MacArthur “Genius” grant, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Prix de Roma, among others. 

She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frist Center for Visual Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Prospect.3 New Orleans, and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain. She is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, NY and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.