Carrie Mae Weems

ACA Gallery of SCAD

The video in Carrie Mae Weems’s installation Constructing History: A Requiem to Mark the Moment, 2008—a project commissioned by the National Black Arts Festival and the Savannah College of Art and Design (where Weems was in residence last year)—begins topically. In voice-over, while the screen is black, the artist unleashes a litany of statements about social unrest and protest, after which extreme close-ups of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, respectively, fill the screen. The politicians reappear at the end, at which point the artist speaks about living at a moment in American history when both a black man and a white woman seem to have a real chance of becoming president (though as of this writing, of course, only the former has an opportunity next month).

The action occurring between the segments showing the senators’ faces is pedagogical, and takes place in a schematic

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