Carrie Mae Weems Wins Hasselblad Award 2023
The Hasselblad Foundation praised Weems for her 'unflinching visual and ethical force'.
Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (Man and mirror) (1990). © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Hasselblad Foundation.
Artist Carrie Mae Weems was announced the winner of the 2023 Hasselblad Award. She received SEK 2 million (US $188,000), a gold medal, and a medium-format Hasselblad camera.
The Hasselblad Foundation praised Weems, who was born in Portland in 1953, for engaging with the struggle for racial equality and human rights 'with unflinching visual and ethical force'.
'Her artistic practice is inherently activist, poignant, and lyrical,' they said. 'She creates evocative, potent tableaux and confronts painful histories, institutional power, and social discriminations.'
Weems' practice centres on photography, though it also includes film, installations, and performance.
She is perhaps best known for her 'The Kitchen Table Series' (1990)—staged photographs depicting a young Black woman at home.
She received major accolades decades later, winning a MacArthur Fellowship in 2013 and becoming the first African American woman to have a retrospective at New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2014.
'In the midst of the radical shifts taking place across cultural institutions, and as the first African American woman to receive the Hasselblad Award, some might say, "it's about time!",' Weems said.
Nevertheless, she described the award as 'a cherished honour' and said it came with 'the continued responsibility to deliver on the promise made to myself and to the field, which is to shine a light into the darker corners of our time and thereby, with a sense of grace and humility, illuminate a path forward.'
The award ceremony will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden on 13 October 2023. An exhibition of Weems' work will open at the Hasselblad Center inside the Gothenburg Museum of Art on the same day, and a new publication about the artist will be released.
Recent winners of the Hasselblad Award include Dayanita Singh in 2022, Alfredo Jaar in 2020, and Daido Moriyama in 2019. —[O]