SOCIAL STUDIES 101
A CARRIE MAE WEEMS PROJECT
BILLBOARD PROJECT 2017
In the summer of 2017, Carrie Mae Weems with three emerging artists, Tanya Rice, Jo Shonalda Jackson, and Petra Szilagyi, embarked on a project to photograph those aspects of Syracuse which one is not likely to find in the city’s own promotional images. In these photographs, they captured the willfully unseen people and circumstances that constitute the reality of one of the United State’s most culturally rich, yet economically impoverished and divided cities. While these images are specific to the city of Syracuse, the circumstances they portray resonate throughout the country.
The culmination of their photographic project was a series of digital billboards on display in the city of Syracuse that featured their images and pieces of text written to speak to and about the city’s underserved populations.
GRACE NOTES: REFLECTIONS FOR NOW
The thing that really struck me about the ways in which people have handled this tragedy, whether we are looking at the young people who have started Black Lives Matter or the President singing “Amazing Grace,” is we are continuing to ask for our humanity to be recognized. And at the same time offering the generosity of spirit even as our young men are being murdered. That’s kind of extraordinary and what really motivated the piece.
—Carrie Mae Weems
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- Social Studies
- Carrie Mae Weems
- 501 W. Fayette Street, Studio 242
- Syracuse, NY 13204