Carrie Mae Weems The Usual Suspects at LSU Museum of Art

Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects will be on view at the LSU Museum of Art April 12 through October 14, 2018. 

In collaboration with the LSU School of Art, Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects includes recent photographic and video works questioning stereotypes that associate black bodies with criminality. Images from the All the Boys and The Usual Suspects series implicate these stereotypes in the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police, and confront the viewer with the fact of judicial inaction. Blocks of color obscuring faces point to the constructed nature of our notions of race and how these imagined concepts obscure humanity—here with very real and deadly outcomes. People of a Darker Hue, a meditative compilation of video, found footage, narration, and performance commemorates these deaths.

Selections from Weems’ expansive oeuvre will also be featured in several Art in Louisiana: Views into the Collection galleries concurrent with Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects. Upon entering the museum, viewers will see a large work from 2003’s The Louisiana Project that reads, “While sitting upon the ruins of your remains, I pondered the course of history." This quote signals the critical lens Weems’ work will inspire as it appears alongside the ϲʿֱ permanent collection. Inclusion of works from Weems’ Slave Coast, The Louisiana Project, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, and Slow Fade to Black series will broaden—and make explicit—conversations about identity, power, gender, race, and class that sometimes pass under the radar with historic art collections.

Curated by Courtney Taylor

Photos by Malarie Zaunbrecher



Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems and the consequences of power. Determined as ever to enter the picture— both literally and metaphorically—she has sustained an on-going dialogue within contemporary discourse for over thirty years. During this time Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. 

In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Weems has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships including the prestigious Prix de Roma, The National Endowment of the Arts, the Alpert, the Anonymous was a Woman and the Tiffany Awards, among many other honors. 

Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frist Center for Visual Art, Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York, 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, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, NY and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.


Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects is a collaboration between the LSU College of Art + Design, the LSU School of Art and LSU Museum of Art. Support for this exhibition is provided by The Winifred and Kevin P. Reilly Jr. Fund with additional support from Annual Exhibition Fund donors: The Imo N. Brown Memorial Fund in memory of Heidel Brown and Mary Ann Brown; Louisiana CAT; Charles Schwing; Alma Lee, H.N. and Cary Saurage Fund; Newton B. Thomas Family/Newtron Group; LSU College of Art & Design; and Susanna Atkins McCarthy.


Past Events


Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art  

Nationally celebrated Portland-born artist Carrie Mae Weems uses photography, video, and installation to examine contemporary life and the African-American experience. In her exhibition The Usual Suspects, organized by ϲʿֱ Museum of Art, Weems asks, “How do you measure a life?” In this body of work, created between 2014 and 2018, Weems addresses the constructed nature of racial identity—specifically, representations that associate black bodies with criminality and the resultant killings of black men, women, and children without consequence. Through a formal language of blurred images, color blocks, stated facts, and meditative narration, she questions this sustained history of violence and judicial inaction. Video created by Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.