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Carrie Mae Weems, born 1953
Published by Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, Rutgers University, New Jersey

When and Where I Enter the British Museum

Part Of:

Collective Title: Rivington Place Portfolio

Digital print on medium, slightly textured, white wove paper
Sheet: 30 × 20 inches (76.2 × 50.8 cm)

Inscribed on verso in graphite, lower left: "Brodsky Center 07-330"

Signed and dated on verso in graphite, lower center: "Carrie M. Weems. 2007"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
Copyright Status:
© The Artist
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

This portfolio was published in 2007 to support the foundation of Rivington Place, a public gallery and community space in Shoreditch, London. Rivington Place describes itself as the UK’s "first permanent public space dedicated to diversity in the visual arts" and is housed in an award-winning building designed by David Adjaye, a British architect of Ghanaian descent. As well as hosting regular exhibitions, film screenings, talks, and performances, it is the home of the Association of Black Photographers (Autograph ABP), the International Institute of Visual Arts (Iniva), and the Stuart Hall Library. The artists selected to contribute to the portfolio were chosen for their international reputations and commitment to creating work dealing explicitly with contemporary cultural issues.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Carrie Mae Weems is one of the leading artists working in the United States today. Like the other artists exhibited here, she uses a wide variety of media but is best known for her photographs, many of which explore her identity as an African American woman. In 2006, Weems was awarded a scholarship to Rome and took the opportunity to visit several European cities. Here she photographed herself with her back turned and wearing a dark robe, in a range of impressive architectural settings. In this particular image she confronts the British Museum in London with its white ionic columns, streams of tourists, and a banner for an exhibition of Michelangelo’s drawings. Weems stands out from the crowd, yet simultaneously seems invisible, as if unsure how to position herself in relation to this bastion of European colonialism (though by no means unable to face up to it). "It’s fair to say that black folks operate under a cloud of invisibility," Weems recently noted in reference to these photographs, "blackness is an affront to the persistence of whiteness. . . . This invisibility—this erasure out of the complex history of our life and time—is the greatest source of my longing."

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Art in Focus : Women at Yale (Yale Center for British Art, 2020-04-08 - 2020-08-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-09-27 - 2007-12-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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