Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Frist Museum and the Carrie Mae Weems exhibit

 It is always an instructive trip to the Frist in Nashville. I love seeing new exhibits.

The latest visit to the Frist included the the Carrie Mae Weems art show. She interweaves the past and present into her presentation about slavery, meaning, reality, and shows how the past influences the present, not always in a good way.

I was impressed with how varied her exhibit was, and how she had found so many different photos and videos and woven them together into a meaningful whole. I felt as if she wished she could change the most hurtful parts of history, but since she couldn't, she would show shadows of what could have been.

Some of the exhibit pieces that were most meaningful to me were the portraits of famous black singers and entertainers - shown intensely blurred for their unfair regression into unimportance as time goes by.

Her travel pictures were very good, but the pictures that stay in my mind most are the dehumanizing ones and the ones of a sad African princess. How could people be so terrible to their brothers and sisters? I felt helpless and sad seeing some of the photos and paintings at this exhibit.

The scenes and memories here were of things that could not be changed, empty places, and echoes of a world full of insane people that seemed to enjoy the destruction of people, places, and futures.

The Carrie Mae Weems exhibit started a conversation afterwards about injustice and memory. I would call this exhibit instructive. I would not call it cheery, but I think that is exactly what the artist had in mind.

Find out more: The Frist Museum.

This poster shows part of Weems' Black Fashion Show video.

The font of the Frist Museum - Rickey is walking to the left.
I thought this grate in front of the museum interesting.


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