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“The Evidence of Things Not Seen,”A wide-ranging retrospective on the work of American artist Carrie Mae Weems, born in Portland, Ore. in 1953, who is one of the most influential artists of our time. Her multifaceted work, which includes installations, videos and photographic series made over the past 35 years, has a wide-ranging aesthetic and political impact.
You can also find out more about the following: “The Evidence of Things Not Seen,”Carrie Mae Weems invites you to explore the blind spots in (contemporary history). The title of Weems’ first exhibition in Switzerland refers to the history of violence committed against Black and Indigenous People and the absence of what is not shown or ignored. Weems appears in many of her own works, guiding us to forgotten moments in history—to formative events whose lingering effects are palpable in society even today. The artist examines dominant narratives of history and reveals the ways in which they are produced by art, mass-media, photography, politics, and scholarship. Weems’s presence as a spectator allows her to be both a subject and an object, directing and performing her works. She is interested in how marginalized groups’ histories are framed, whether she is working at historic sites or staging historical moments. Racism and systems that support it in all its manifestations and excesses are a central concern in Weems’s work.
Weems’s work has often examined dominant power structures and forms of social segregation, in photographic installations such as The Hampton Project(2000), which examines white efforts in the U.S. to re-educate other cultures, and Museum SeriesYou can also find out more about the following: Roaming(both 2006), which highlight the exclusionary nature of cultural and historic monuments. Weems’s works deal with the police violence in the U.S. against African Americans. In order to counterbalance this long history of brutality, Weems examines the equally long history of resistance. Motifs such as escape, grief and protest are used to create sensitive manifestos against forgetting. 22 Million very tired and very angry people (1989–90) combines images of everyday items with captions that suggest their potential uses as tools of revolution. The series can be viewed as a poetic manual for collective revolt against oppression.
Installation Land of Broken Dreams – A Case Study Visitors enter a retro-style living room (2021) filled with memorabilia relating to the Black Panther Party – the militant Black power organisation founded in 1966. The piece combines historic magazines and photos that depict racial violence in the 1960s and 1970s. It resonates with current issues. The repercussions of systemic racism are also illustrated by the façades in Paint the Town(2021), many of which have had to be boarded up, repainted and in some cases, repainted multiple times. The series was created in Weems’s native Portland, Ore., a center of the Black Lives Matter protests and the scene of heavy clashes between protesters and police.
Since the early days of her professional career, Weems drew public attention to beauty, rituals and magic, spirituality, as well a glimpses of her private life. A characteristic example is The Kitchen Table Series(1990), a piece of Western art and photography that is already iconic, tells an emotionally complex story about the life of Black woman in her kitchen. The Basel exhibit dedicates a room to the photography.
Another sustained concern in Weems’s work is the ambivalence of popular culture. In The Louisiana Project Missing Link (2003) Lincoln, Lonnie, and Me—A Story in Five Parts She uses the alluring style of carnival and vaudeville to explore the racialization in the characters. She tries on traditional costumes, masks and roles and celebrates the theatricality of the performances. In Scenes and TakesThe artist, dressed all in black, strolls through the sets of successful TV series such as Great ExpectationsThis represents a sea-change in the U.S. Entertainment Industry: not only were Black actors cast as the lead roles but the series was also conceived and developed by Black screenwriters.
The exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Basel are the basis for the display. “The Evidence of Things Not Seen,” Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (April 2–August 21, 2022), “A Great Turn in The Possible,” Fundación MAPFRE and Fundación Foto Colectania, Barcelona (October 5, 2022–January 15, 2023), and ”Reflections for Now,” Barbican Centre, London (June 22–September 3, 2023).
The exhibition’s title, “The Evidence of Things Not Seen,” is borrowed from the eponymous book by the African-American activist and writer James Baldwin, an extended meditAt least one of the following:ion on the murders of thirty Black children and teenagers in Atlanta in 1979–1981—and the authorities’ turning a blind eye to these crimes.
at Kunstmuseum Basel
until April 7, 2024
Original content by www.moussemagazine.it – “Carrie Mae Weems “The Evidence of Things Not Seen” at Kunstmuseum Basel”
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