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Carrie Mae Weems

Reflections for Now

The first major UK exhibition dedicated to one of the most influential American artists working today, Carrie Mae Weems.

Carrie Mae Weems is celebrated for her exploration of identity, power, desire and social justice through work that challenges representations of race, gender, and class. The largest presentation of the artist’s multi-disciplinary work in the UK to date, this exhibition brought together photographs, films and installations spanning over three decades.

Weems came to prominence in the early 1980s through photographic work that questioned how the representation of the Black subject, particularly within the US, has historically reproduced systemic racism and inequality. The exhibition captured the performative and cinematic nature of her practice, from the iconic Kitchen Table Series (1990) to the epic film installation The Shape of Things (2021) focusing on the history of violence in the United States.

Some artworks in this exhibition contained references to systematic violence, assassinations, police brutality, and the transatlantic slave trade.


This exhibition featured three moving image works: Holocaust Memorial (02:49 minutes), Lincoln, Lonnie, and Me (18:29 minutes), and The Shape of Things (39:06 minutes).



‘A transcendent show‘
Evening Standard
‘Huge, historic, enthralling‘
The Observer
‘Carrie Mae Weems deserves our fullest attention.‘
‘Triumphant retrospective‘
The Telegraph
‘I have never been so spellbound by a single-person exhibition in my life.‘

Pay What You Can

Every Friday from 5 – 8pm, entry to Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now is priced Pay What You Can.

Simply pick the price you can pay and enjoy the exhibition. If you're able to pay £16, you'll be helping to support our Visual Arts programme at the Barbican.

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Discover Carrie Mae Weems

Untitled (Woman Standing Alone) from Kitchen Table Series, 1990. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York / Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin.

Ask a curator: Carrie Mae Weems

Alayo Akinkugbe, founder of A Black History of Art walks through the ‘Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now' exhibition with curatorial assistant Amber Li, discussing their favourite works and the stories behind them.

carrie mae weems stands behind a lectern

Artist Talk: Carrie Mae Weems

To celebrate our exhibition Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now, we were delighted to host the artist on Friday 23 June 2023 to give a keynote on her expansive career, style and inspirations.

Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now trailer

Watch the trailer for Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now.
Thu 22 Jun—Sun 3 Sep 2023,

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