Carrie Mae Weems: Speaking of Art

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Carrie Mae Weems: Speaking of Art
The film will be introduced by Elizabeth Cook (see bio below)

In 2004 Checkerboard had the privilege of filming Carrie Mae Weems discussing her body of work, comprised of 17 projects spanning more than two decades (1981-2004).

This dynamic presentation was accompanied by slides of the artist’s photographs and excerpts from her video art. The result is a chaptered lecture guided by Weems’s seductive voice and passionate presence. The viewer is transported into her world as she details what she is trying to uncover, illuminate, investigate and provoke through her lens.

Our film begins with Weems’s documentation of her extensive family in the 1984 series “Family Pictures and Stories” and builds gradually in complexity with “Ain’t Jokin”(1987-88), an examination of racial stereotypes, and “Kitchen Table Series” (1990), in which Weems, by inserting herself into the tableau, shows us ‘woman’ experiencing love, motherhood, companionship, and isolation. Series such as “Sea Islands” (1991-92) and “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried” (1995-96) and later “The Louisiana Project” (2003) and “Missing Links” (2003) focus on the African diaspora and issues of race, gender, and cultural history addressed with a blend of poignancy and humor.

In 1997, Weems says she reached a point where she “just could not function on the wall anymore,” and so for the next three years printed her work on large swaths of fabric suspended from the ceiling to beckon movement through and around the images; this resulted in “Ritual and Revolution”(1998) “The Jefferson Suite”(1999) and “The Hampton Project”(2000).

View film trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtO1pdOiBAg

Carrie Mae Weems Bio:
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. Determined as ever to enter the picture—both literally and metaphorically—Weems has sustained an on-going dialogue within contemporary discourse for over thirty years. During this time, Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video.
In a New York Times review of her retrospective, Holland Cotter wrote, “Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible.”
Weems 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 Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain.

Weems has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including the prestigious Prix de Roma, The National Endowment of the Arts, The Alpert, The Anonymous was a Woman, and The Tiffany Awards. In 2012, Weems was presented with one of the first US Department of State’s Medals of Arts in recognition for her commitment to the State Department’s Art in Embassies program.
In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also received the BET Honors Visual Artist award, the Lucie Award for Fine Art photography, was one of four artists honored at the Guggenheim’s 2014 International Gala, a recipient of the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography, The WEB Dubois Award from Harvard University, as well as Honorary Degrees from: California College of the Arts, Colgate University, Bowdoin College, the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University.
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; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Tate Modern, London.

Weems has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2008, and is currently Artist in Residence at the Park Avenue Armory. She lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband Jeffrey Hoone who is Executive Director of Light Work. (http://carriemaeweems.net/bio.html)

Elizabeth Cook Bio:
Elizabeth Cook is a 2012 graduate of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts with a major in Painting. She also holds a B.A. in History from Yale University, and an M.F.A. in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. Elizabeth co-founded Diastole Wealth Management in 1996, and continues as a Partner there. She teaches Art History and Studio Art at Three Rivers Community College, and Studio Art at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. In addition, Liz makes art and blogs about the art world. You can see her work at elizabethcook.com and read her at theleastuntrue.com and dwinvest.com.