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Carrie Mae Weems

15-Museum Minute-carrie mae weems.jpg

On May 21, the museum opened the exhibition “Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects,” originally organized by Courtney Taylor for the Louisiana State University Museum of Art and on view through August 7. Carrie Mae Weems, perhaps best known as a photographer, is considered one of the most influential contemporary artists in the U.S. For nearly four decades, she has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video. Weems’ work in this exhibition examines racism and the African American experience. She implicates stereotypes that associate Black bodies with criminality in the deaths of Black men and women at the hands of police and confronts the viewer with the fact of judicial inaction. Often using blocks of color to obscure the faces of individuals, she represents the obstruction of humanity through the constructed nature of our notions of race. Weems has said that she draws inspiration from Sophocles’ ancient Greek play “Antigone” in an attempt to find grace in the midst of tragedy. The play is about a woman seeking permission to bury her brother.