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CLOSE-UP: SPECTERS OF HISTORY

Carrie Mae Weems, Lincoln, Lonnie, and Me—A Story in 5 Parts, 2012, digital video projection, stage, curtains, stanchions, Mylar, sound. Installation views, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh.

HAVE WE ALL BEEN SLEEPING on Carrie Mae Weems? The question might sound counterintuitive, considering the esteem with which the artist has been held since her emergence in the 1980s—if not altogether off the mark, given the successes she has enjoyed in the past year. Highlights include a MacArthur “genius” award, a magisterial display of her “Museum” series at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the star-studded “Past Tense/Future Perfect” conference organized around her work at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the last stop of “Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video,” the artist’s traveling retrospective. In a word, Weems’s profile has never been higher. But, arguably, we have yet to receive a full accounting of her recursive and affecting practice, which embraces an ever-increasing array of lens-based media in order to reactivate historical

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