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Carrie Mae Weems
(Portland, OR, 1953 – )
Carrie Mae Weems (b. 1953, Portland, OR; lives and works in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and Syracuse, NY) is considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists. Her practice is comprised of a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. Thematically, it explores subjects as diverse as family relationships, cultural identities, structures of inequality, and the consequences of power. In 2005, Newcomb Art Museum commissioned Weems to produce a body of work to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. Entitled The Louisiana Project, the commissioned work incorporates photography, narrative, and video to investigate the social history of the Louisiana Purchase and its aftereffects. The work centers on New Orleans and Mardi Gras, analyzing how cultural patterns that the Louisiana Purchase established two hundred years ago persist today.