About the Exhibition

Carrie Mae Weems is asking probing questions about humanity, about representation, and about power with these photographic and video works.

In Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects, Weems focuses on the humanity denied in recent killings of black men, women, and children by police. She directs our attention to the constructed nature of racial identity—specifically, representations that associate black bodies with criminality. Our imaginings have real—often deadly—outcomes. Blocks of color obscure faces just as our assumptions around race obscure individual humanity. Through a formal language of blurred images, color blocks, stated facts, and meditative narration, Weems directs our attention toward the repeated pattern of judicial inaction—the repeated denials and the repeated lack of acknowledgement.

Much of this work grew out of an exploration of the idea of grace in response to our contemporary moment. Weems draws inspiration from the ancient Greek tragedy Antigone, in which a woman defies prevailing powers to bury her fallen brother. Weems’ work commemorates fallen brothers and asks us to probe and seek understanding along with her.

Support for this exhibition is provided by The Winifred and Kevin P. Reilly Jr. Fund with additional support from Annual Exhibition Fund donors. This exhibition is organized by LSU Museum of Art in collaboration with LSU College of Art + Design, and LSU School of Art.

At the Fairfield University Art Museum, this exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the #UNLOAD Foundation, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, and Aquarion Water Company. The Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community is a community partner for the museum’s programming this fall.


Background image: Carrie Mae Weems, All the Boys (Profile 1), 2016, archival pigment print on gesso board. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery

 

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Virtual Tour

 

Browse Selected Artworks

Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects

 

Audio Guide

Fairfield University Art Museum · Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects

 

Learn

All programs will be live-streamed (unless indicated). Recordings will be available on our website and YouTube channel. All times are Eastern Standard. To register, click below.

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Opening Conversation: Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects

Dalila Scruggs, PhD, Curator of Photographs and Prints at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York

Friday, September 17, 6 p.m.
Part of the Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation

Film Screening: Black Art: In the Absence of Light (HBO)(2021)

Monday, October 4, 7 p.m.
BCC, Oak Room
This event will be held in person. University guidelines apply.

Lecture: The Art of Perception: Look Closely to Save a Life

Amy Herman, founder, The Art of Perception ®

Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m.
Co-sponsored by #UNLOAD Foundation

Kelley Theatre, Quick Center for the Arts
This event will be held in person. University guidelines apply.

Lecture: An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States

Kyle T. Mays, Assistant Professor, History, UCLA

Wednesday, November 3, 5 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the American Studies and Black Studies programs

Lecture: Oral History and the African-American Experience

Tamara Lanier, activist

Monday, November 8, 5 p.m.

24th Jacoby-Lunin Humanitarian Lecture: Black Voters Matter: Our Obligation to Democracy and Equality

LaTosha Brown, founder of Black Voters Matter

Tuesday, November 9, 7:30 p.m.
Sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies through the generosity of the Frank Jacoby Foundation (maintained by Debby and David Zieff), presented as part of the Open Visions Forum

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