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Freddie Grey

With Art As My Witness: Carrie Mae Weems at Jack Shainman Gallery

by Emily Colucci on November 23, 2016
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I often hear the platitude that art thrives when artists are forced into action by life or death necessity. But, what might this new politically engaged art actually do to combat racism, xenophobia, misogyny and a host of other threats that have already appeared well before Trump’s inauguration?

Carrie Mae Weems’s two current exhibitions, on view at both Jack Shainman galleries, seem to offer an answer: art can act as a witness. In the dual shows, Weems shines a light on violence, institutional silence, judicial ignorance and black underrepresentation. This is seen most vividly her gut-wrenching take on the killings of unarmed black men and women by police in the 24th street space. Not all the pieces in Weems’s shows force viewers to witness these crimes, but those that do drag these issues into view for a Chelsea art audience, rendering a passive and apolitical viewing experience almost impossible.

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Light City Baltimore Happened to a Resounding “Meh”

by Michael Anthony Farley on April 4, 2016
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For the past year, residents of Baltimore have been bombarded with hype about Light City, a free festival of music and “light art” in the Inner Harbor. The organizers have repeatedly compared it to South by Southwest and Art Basel (two extremely dissimilar events) and secured roughly $4 million in funding from a mix of public and private sponsors. But it seems like the only people excited about this thing are the people who paid for it.

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