Carrie Mae Weems - I move around with an old beat-up camera, a fucked-up tripod, and as much film as I can carry

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On November 2nd 2014 Carrie Mae Weems, the world-renowned photographer, artist and activist, will be given a Lucie Award for her achievement in Fine Arts.Weems received her first camera at age twenty when she was working in the labour movement as a union organizer, and at first she used her camera in support of this work. She was inspired to pursue photography more seriously after she came across 'The Black Photography Annual', a book of images by African-American photographers, and in 1983 she held her first exhibition - a collection of images and words called 'Family Pictures and Stories'.Today Weems has taken part in more than 50 exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Her main focus is on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, gender relations, politics, and personal identity.In the 'Kitchen Table' (1990) series Weems places black subjects in universally familiar situations, creating an intimate connection between the subjects and the viewer that supersedes identifications of race and allows a non-white person to become the neutral figure for our reflection.

Weems' attitude to photography is refreshingly relaxed.

"I’m not interested in stomping around the world with thirteen cameras, ten lenses, umbrellas and stands, and all that bullshit. I move around with an old beat-up camera, a fucked-up tripod, and as much film as I can carry. Then I just trust that I know what I’m doing with this little black box..."

(bell hooks, "Carrie Mae Weems: Diasporic Landscapes of Longing")

She Shoots Film would like to congratulate Carrie Mae Weems on her Lucie Award for Fine Arts & to celebrate her four decades' worth of extraordinary achievements in art and photography.

For more information on Carrie Mae Weems you may also refer to Artsy's unique resource covering her here.

Weems is represented by, and can be contacted via the Jack Shainman Gallery of New York.