Of Virginia Art Museum Presents An Exploration In DNA And Difference — ‘Carrie
Mae Weems: The Jefferson Suite’
March 26, 2004 --
Multimedia installation “Carrie Mae Weems: The Jefferson
Through Sunday, May 23
University of Virginia Art Museum, Main and Octagonal Galleries
A conversation with photographer Carrie Mae Weems, followed by
a reception, Wednesday,
21, at 6 p.m.
Campbell Hall, Room 153
want to make things that are beautiful, seductive, formally challenging
and culturally meaningful, says photographer Carrie Mae
Weems, whose work will be displayed at the University of Virginia
Art Museum beginning March 24. Weems’ multimedia installation, “The
Jefferson Suites,” reflects her interest in unresolved
issues of racial and gender identity by examining the ramifications
genetic research and the politics of DNA technologies.
The name of this installation alludes to the DNA analysis
of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, which proved there
was a genetic relationship between the families.
multimedia installation features digitally produced images on
cloth and canvas and an artist-recorded
for visitors. “The idea that we are all descended
from the same family is a very old one,” Weems
allows us to think about the future in new and exciting
ways. At the same time we have our real world that we
have to understand.”
contemporary artist, Weems has also created images of people
and animals closely
associated with genetics
discovery, as well as representations of such historic
figures as Jefferson
and Hemings and President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
The results are thought-provoking pieces that ask us
to think critically
about how new technology is being used, its reliability,
and its effect on our social, cultural and political
in Portland, Oregon, in 1953, Weems earned a bachelor’s
degree from the California Institute of the Arts,
Valencia, in 1981, and received her master’s degree in
fine arts from the University of California, San Diego, in 1984.
graduate studies in Folklore at the University of
California, Berkeley, and in 1999 was presented with an honorary
from the California
College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland. Weems has taught
extensively in colleges and universities throughout the country.
2000 to 2002, Weems’ “Hampton Project,” an
installation featuring servitude and industry at
the Hampton University, was shown at the High Museum of Art,
Atlanta; Minneapolis Art Museum;
International Center of Photography, New York;
and Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass.
has been a visiting professor at Harvard University
and Williams College and received numerous national
Award for Visual Arts (1996) and a National Endowment
for the Arts Visual Arts Grant (1994).
Weems exhibition at the University of Virginia Art Museum is
in part by the Arts Enhancement
the University Council for the Arts and Dr.
Steven E. Epstein and Cary Brown-Epstein.
with Weems and Reception
Wednesday, April 21, at 6 p.m. in Campbell Hall, Room 153, U.Va.
Professor of American
Literature Deborah McDowell
an interview with Weems that centers on
the exhibition and the artist’s career.
Following the interview, there will be a
series of short dance performances choreographed
by U.Va. students
in response to “The Jefferson Suite” exhibit.
The dances will attempt to comment on the
content and the arrangement of the
exhibition, and will be performed in the
space, encouraging an engagement with the
Katherine Thompson Jackson, (434) 924-3629