Carrie Mae Weems
Weems was born in 1953, in Portland, Oregon. In her late teens she moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in modern dance, studying movement with Anna Halprin’s postmodern Dancer’s Workshop. She also became politically active in the labor movement. During the late 1970s, Weems began to pursue her interest in photography, first as a means of political and personal documentation, then increasingly as a form of intellectual and aesthetic expression. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at the California Institute of the Arts in 1981 and a master of fine arts degree at the University of California, San Diego in 1984. She is also an avid student of history, political theory, literature, philosophy and folklore, all of which she brings to bear in her work. While African Americans are her primary subject, Weems has stated that she wants people of color to stand for the human multitude and for her work to resonate with all audiences.
My responsibility as an artist is to work, to sing for my supper, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the rooftops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specificity
"The Kitchen Table Series" (1990), a photographic investigation of a single domestic space in which the artist staged scenes of "the battle around the family" between women and men, friends and lovers, parents and children.
"Like Family Pictures and Stories, this series offers a valid portrait of an often overlooked subject, in this case, a modern black woman—“the other of the other.” The images trace a period in the woman’s life as she experiences the blossoming, then loss, of love, the responsibilities of motherhood, and the desire to be an engaged member of her community. The protagonist is Carrie Mae Weems herself—a practice that will continue throughout the next decades of her career. The role of words has become more prominent with fourteen stand-alone text panels that relay the at times rocky story. Near the end, the woman stands alone, strong and self-reliant, looking directly at the viewer, her arms squarely planted on her kitchen table, where the events have unfolded under a light of interrogation. Although Kitchen Table Series depicts a black subject and is loosely related to her own experiences, Weems strives for it to reflect the experiences of Everywoman and to resonate across racial and class boundaries. ” http://frist.toursphere.com/en/kitchen-table-series-18373.html