Carrie Mae Weems


RESIST COVID TAKE 6! sees artist Carrie Mae Weems step away from her signature photographic tableaux and into the realm of agitprop art with a new public art campaign. In this series, Weems draws awareness to the ways in which racial inequities have manifested in the COVID-19 pandemic, with people of color inordinately at risk of the virus. The title, TAKE 6!, invokes the precaution for people to maintain a six-foot distance from one another and speaks to the urgency of Weems’ call to action. In a sequence of commanding billboards, Weems confronts viewers with the realities of this international health crisis while simultaneously providing notes of gratitude to workers within the health and service industries and making direct appeals for people to take preventive safety measures. With emphatic insistence, Weems implores passersby: “WASH YOUR HANDS, COVER YOUR FACE, KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE & GET TESTED!” The powerful text is projected against images that deliver a visceral gut punch. The words stretch across a frame of Black and Brown bodies — those most likely to succumb to this relentless disease.

Signature image for Carrie Mae Weems exhibition

Weems, in her quintessential collaborative spirit, has taken on this project with her friend and colleague Pierre Loving. Creating work that mimics a mode of information dispersal so ubiquitous within urban life, Weems and Loving move outside the confines of the institution and into the reaches of the community. In addition to this presentation at the SCAD Museum of Art, TAKE 6! will also be on view at SCAD Atlanta, bringing its message to the attention of residents in one of the American cities where it is most urgently needed.

With every work she creates, Weems speaks to our humanity and the complexity of our interconnected experiences. At the root of her discourse is the question: How do you measure a life?

About the artist

Through image, text, film, video, and performance, as well as lectures, presentations, and culturally significant convenings with individuals across a multitude of disciplines, Carrie Mae Weems has created a complex body of work that centers on her overarching commitment to helping us better understand our present moment by examining our collective past. Determined as ever to enter the picture — both literally and metaphorically — Weems has sustained an ongoing dialogue within contemporary discourse for more than 35 years.

Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville; The Cleveland Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain.

She is represented in public and private collections around the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She lives and works in Syracuse, New York.

Install Views


Carrie Mae Weems: RESIST COVID TAKE 6! is curated by Ariella Wolens, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions.

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