Carrie Mae Weems, Constructing History: A Requiem to Mark the Moment, 2008

In a brilliant video that examines our constant quest toward human rights, Carrie Mae Weems reflects on the various ways that historical transgressions against humanity have produced our contemporary circumstances. Created in 2008, Constructing History continues to resonate with current events, requiring us to not only question the results of our history and the ways in which it is taught, it more significantly necessitates that we reckon with both our collective and individual behaviors.


Through image and text, film and performance, and her many convenings with individuals across a multitude of disciplines, Carrie Mae Weems has created a complex body of art that investigates family relationships, gender roles, racism, and the consequences of power. Weems addresses a wide array of issues, but her overarching commitment is to help us better understand our present moment by examining our collective past.
Artwork Info
Date 2008
Dimensions 20 minutes, 4 seconds
Medium Video
Artist Info
Born Portland, OR
Works Syracuse, NY


Carrie Mae Weems is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery and is currently the Artist in Residence at Syracuse University. She lives in Syracuse, New York with her husband Jeffrey Hoone, who is Executive Director of Light Work. Weems has received a multitude of awards, grants, and fellowships including the MacArthur Award and the National Endowment of the Arts, among many others. Major solo exhibitions of Carrie’s work include Carrie Mae Weems: The Museum Series, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2014); Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; and The Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013-2014). She is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.