Despite what Weems says, while the new show’s ideas, motifs, and questions—like, what is power? How is it constructed, employed,and represented?—are the same, they are manifested through refreshingly new dynamics at Jack Shainman’s galleries. On 24th Street, Weems created a series of photography, text, and video, titled “All the Boys” (2016), which evolved out of her performance project from earlier this year, Grace Notes: Reflections For Now. The series responds to the recent killings of young black men, women, and children by police officers in the U.S. In All the Boys (Blocked 3), for instance, Weems presents a diptych of a blurred hooded black male behind a red color block, next to a Ferguson Police Department incident report with all identifying information blacked out as if it is classified.
Lining one wall in the gallery is a series of text panels that provide the basic facts—age, name, date of death, race, height, and weight—of 10 unarmed victims of police shootings, including Philando Castile, Tanisha Anderson, and Eric Garner. The “Usual Suspects” all fit one single description, which Weems states as: “Matching the description of the alleged, perpetrator was stopped and/or apprehended, physically engaged, and shot at the scene. Suspect killed. To date, no one has been charged in the matter.”