Carrie Mae Weems is one of the most influential contemporary female artists in the United States and has gained renown far beyond the art scene not least of all for her collaboration with such pop-culture celebrities as film director Spike Lee and musician Mary J. Blige. Weems is a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and many of her works address the latest excesses of structural racism toward people of colour (PoC). Born in 1953 in Portland, Oregon, Carrie Mae Weems has received relatively little recognition for her multifaceted artistic work in Germany and Europe. The Württembergischer Kunstverein (WKV) in Stuttgart is now organising the first comprehensive solo exhibition of the African American artist featuring works from the early 1980s to the present.
Weems began her artistic career in the late 1970s with a critical examination of the possibilities and limitations of photography. She has always been particularly interested in the construction of race, class, gender and the violence which is often inherent to them. Her works often investigate historical narratives and reveal what lies hidden within. She works with photography, video, performance and installation techniques, she uses textiles, objects and found items, and she incorporates music, fashion, film and other areas of pop culture into her works. She often appears in many of her staged photos – not as an autobiographical reference, but rather as a kind of avatar or alter-ego, or as she puts it, “a black woman who takes me through the trauma of history”. Such works like the photo/text piece The Kitchen Table Series and the photo series From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried have helped expand the American art canon with a complex and critical examination of femininity, class and African American identity. The exhibition at the WKV will be accompanied by an event curated in cooperation with Weems and will include presentations, music, dance and lecture performances.
Artistic directors: Iris Dressler, Hans D. Christ
Artist: Carrie Mae Weems
Exhibition: 1 April 2022 - 21 August 2022 Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart