Friday, April 29, 2011

With a Heart for Impacting Art - Carrie Mae Weems

I just got off the phone with Carrie Mae Weems, an incredible artist who I first met at least a decade ago with my girl Karen at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival in Hurston's hometown of Eatonville, Fla.

This morning, I was interviewing Weems for an article I'm writing for Inside Spelman about the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the only museum in the nation that emphasizes works by and about women of the African Diaspora.

Her comments were insightful, impacting, opinionated and passionate - just like her work. If you've never experienced her art, please check out her website (the homepage time line is so engaging) and be blown away.

"A platinum series" - Weems on "The Kitchen Table Series"

Filmed in her Syracuse studio, Weems discusses the impetus for her work "The Kitchen Table Series" (1990), a photographic investigation of a single domestic space in which the artist staged scenes of "the battle around the family" between women and men, friends and lovers, parents and children.

Video: Carrie Mae Weems: "The Kitchen Table Series"

"I was trying to look at the history of photography and the way in which African Americans had been particularly depicted and inscribed through and in American photography....When we're looking at the images we are looking at the ways in which Anglo America, white America saw itself in relationship to the black subject. I wanted to intervene in that by giving a voice to a subject that historically has had no voice."
- Weems on "From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995" (Audio)

Stay inspired y'all. And keep Enjoyceinglife!

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