"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 5 (2009)
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“Narrative and storytelling is in the blood,” declares Carrie Mae Weems. Through a mixture of archival personal photos and the artist’s first major photo-documentary series, "Family Pictures and Stories," Weems takes the viewer on a personal journey through her childhood in the 1950s to a broader examination of “the history of black subjects in photography” in the series "From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried." Continually innovating, Weems has since adopted new strategies of picture making in the series "Constructing History: A Requiem to Mark the Moment" in which students at the Savannah College of Art and Design reenact pivotal Civil Rights and new moments from the past forty years. The segment follows the artist back to her home in Syracuse, New York, where she is seen staging the second chapter of the project in an ornate hotel ballroom, focusing on the drama of the 2008 presidential campaign.