As Brooklyn continues to re-open with outdoor seating at bars and restaurants across the city, we’ve been working to present new visual art experiences in open-air public spaces. Take a walk by BRIC House in the next few weeks and you’ll see a new installation by world-renowned contemporary visual artist Carrie Mae Weems.

Featuring her photograph, Hold On #1 from the MoMA Garden series (2014), this public art installation is on view in the windows overlooking BRIC’s main gallery, on Rockwell Place, as part of Weems’ public awareness art project, RESIST COVID TAKE 6!.

RESIST COVID TAKE 6! is an artist-driven public awareness campaign by MacArthur Fellowship-winning artist Carrie Mae Weems, created to educate and enlighten Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities on the impact of this deadly virus on their lives.

“TAKE 6” refers to the recommended six feet of separation while social distancing. The campaign began in Syracuse, NY using billboards, alternative messaging, public art projects, and other creative means to highlight the staggering death toll of COVID-19 and raise public awareness. Through these efforts, it underscores the importance of social distancing, encourages public discussion, dispels the myths and dangers of false cures associated with the virus, and generously thanks our front line and essential workers. 

Written in a statement released by Weems on Syracuse University’s website: “We’ve all been impacted by COVID-19. It’s an ecological health crisis of epic proposition [sic] — an international disaster,” Weems says. “And yet we have indisputable evidence that people of color have been disproportionately impacted. The death toll in these communities is staggering. This fact affords the nation an unprecedented opportunity to address the impact of social and economic inequality in real time. Denial does not solve a problem.”

This effort is led by Weems’ Social Studies 101 in association with Pierre Loving, and THE OFFICE performing arts + film. Along with this public art installation, BRIC will be including the campaign on our cable channels

Carrie Mae Weems is an internationally renowned artist who has used multiple mediums (photography, video, digital imagery, text, fabric, and more) to explore themes of cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, family relationships, and the consequences of power.

Among her many honors, Weems is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a. “Genius” grant) and was the first African American woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. Her other accolades include the prestigious Prix de Roma, the Frida Kahlo Award for Innovative Creativity, the WEB DuBois Medal, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, the BET Honors Visual Artist Award, the Lucie Award for Fine Art Photography, and the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography. She was named Syracuse University’s first University Artist in Residence, a three-year appointment, in January 2020, and is an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

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; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville; and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain.