Photographer Weems goes video at CFAG

For this installation Weems presents two recently produced video projections, "Afro-Chic," a visual risque on fashion and beauty, and the engaging "Constructing History: A Requiem to Mark the Moment."

According to Laurie Ann Farrell:

"Constructing History is Weems' homage to the spirit, fight, victories, and defeats of humanity from 1968 to the present day. After revisiting a historical image of the Birmingham, Alabama uprising published in her 1998 exhibition catalog Ritual and Revolution - and desiring to pay homage to the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and death on current world events - Weems decided to construct historical moments that resonate with her as a means of processing, understanding, reflecting, and laying to rest those memories. Weems said, 'Through the act of performance, with our own bodies, we are allowed to experience and to connect the historical past to the present-to the now, to the moment. By inhabiting the moment, we live the experience, we stand in the shoes of others and come to know firsthand what is often only imagined, lost, forgotten.'"

From Weems

During the past 25 years, I have worked toward developing a complex body of art that has at various times employed photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and, most recently, video. My work has led me to investigate family relationships, gender roles, the histories of racism, sexism, class, and various political systems.

Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of my artwork, a way to best express the human condition that has been a focus from my earliest documentary photographs. This characteristic continued through increasingly complex and layered works during the 1980s, as I endeavored to intertwine themes as I have found them in life-racial, sexual, and cultural identity and history.

During the 1990s a trio of museum commissions resulted in large-scale fabric installations, leading to my most recent investigation, The Louisiana Project, commissioned by Tulane University. This project teases out the hidden histories of Louisiana, condensing a web of relationships between black and white, rich and poor, elites and the masses. The installation includes digital photographs, text, video stills, and video. This first addition of the moving image in my work allows me finally to negotiate the space between museum culture and popular culture, while digital technology has enabled me to make current shifts in my artistic production.

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