This presentation marks the twentieth anniversary of the inception of Carrie Mae Weems's feature-length video Coming Up for Air.
The video’s poignant vignettes include appropriated early 20th century archival and cinema footage interwoven with staged scenes of family quarrels and reconciliation, poetic reflections on parental loss, and socially pointed moments examining present and historical race and gender relations. With stylistic echoes of Maya Deren’s and Federico Fellini’s films, this early foray into video—a medium which is now a mainstay within Weems’s oeuvre—was in the artist’s words a “way of extending the vocabulary” of the photographic work for which she was already renown.
Support for the University Art Museum Spring 2023 exhibitions and programs is provided by Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, the University at Albany Alumni Association, and the University Auxiliary Services at Albany.
Image credit: Carrie Mae Weems, Coming Up for Air (stills), 2003-04, video, 51:34 minutes; color, sound; © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York