In this installation, photographers Dawoud Bey, Marilyn Nance, and Carrie Mae Weems offer visual requiems marking some of the turbulent, socially defining moments of the mid-20th century. Through the astute and incisive frames of these three artists, we revisit the assassination of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as King’s funeral. Requiems provides insight into the evolution of photographic practices by Black artists, from documentary to conceptual, and sets a foundation for understanding the shifts in the field at large.
The Assassination of Medgar, Malcolm and Martin, 2008, Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953), archival pigment print. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
The Birmingham Project: Betty Selvage and Faith Speights, 2012, printed 2014, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), two archival pigment prints mounted to Dibond. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund © Dawoud Bey
Audubon Ballroom (exterior), New York, NY, 1989, Marilyn Nance (American, born 1953). Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, by exchange, 2020.148