Carrie Mae Weems: Season 5 Preview (October 2009)



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Where can I catch up on past seasons of Art21?
Past seasons of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series can be found on Hulu, on DVD from PBS and Amazon, through iTunes, and from Netflix
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What does Weems have to say about the idea of compassion?
On the subject of compassion in art, Weems says about her own life and process (in the forthcoming Art21 Season 5 book):

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Learn more about daguerreotypes
A series of videos by The Getty: "The daguerreotype is a one-of-a-kind, highly detailed photographic image on a polished copper plate coated with silver. It was the first popular photographic medium and enjoyed great success when it was introduced in 1839. Although primarily a nineteenth-century medium involving a painstaking process, daguerreotypy is still practiced today by an active—and avid—group of devotees."

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Explore Weems's From Here I Saw What Happened (And I Cried)
In MoMA's collection: "On the occasion of an exhibition of African Americans in early photography, Weems was invited by The J. Paul Getty Museum to comb through their photography collection. She selected nineteenth- and twentieth- century photographs of black men and women, from the time they were forced into slavery in the United States to the present, then rephotographed the pictures, enlarged them, and toned them in red...."

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What happens in Weems's segment in Compassion?
“Narrative and storytelling is in the blood,” declares Carrie Mae Weems, taking the viewer on a personal journey through her first major photo-documentary series—Family Pictures and Stories (1978-84)—while recounting childhood experiences of racial discrimination.

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Where can I see more of her work before the October premiere?
Carrie Mae Weems is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, and by Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco.

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This video is excerpted from the Season 5 episode Compassion premiering on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 10pm (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Compassion features three artists—William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems—whose works explore conscience and the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others.

Carrie Mae Weems was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1953; she lives and works in Syracuse, New York. With the pitch and timbre of an accomplished storyteller, Carrie Mae Weems uses colloquial forms—jokes, songs, rebukes—in photographic series that scrutinize subjectivity and expose pernicious stereotypes. Weems’s vibrant explorations of photography, video, and verse breathe new life into traditional narrative forms—social documentary, tableaux, self-portrait, and oral history. Eliciting epic contexts from individually framed moments, Weems debunks racist and sexist labels, examines the relationship between power and aesthetics, and uses personal biography to articulate broader truths. Whether adapting or appropriating archival images, restaging famous news photographs, or creating altogether new scenes, she traces an indirect history of the depiction of African Americans for more than a century.

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