The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City joins cultural organizations across the nation to present Resist COVID/Take 6!, a national bilingual campaign addressing inequity in the coronavirus response by influential artist and CalArtian Carrie Mae Weems (Art BFA 81).
The initiative was developed during Weems’ artist residency at Syracuse University in collaboration with her close friend Pierre Loving, branding firm 2 x 4, and production company The Office. The project “highlights COVID-19’s astonishing death toll, underscores the importance of social distancing (“Take 6“ refers to the recommended six feet of separation), dispels the myth of false cures associated with the virus, encourages public discussion, and thanks our frontline workers.”
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted BIPOC communities, a sentiment echoed on the Resist COVID/Take 6! website’s header: the pandemic is a “double tragedy for people of color.”
“We’ve all been impacted by COVID-19. It’s an ecological health crisis of epic proportion—an international disaster,” said Weems in her artist statement. “And yet we have indisputable evidence that people of color have been disproportionately impacted. The death tolls in these communities are staggering. This fact affords the nation an unprecedented opportunity to address the impact of social and economic inequality in real-time. Denial does not solve a problem.”
In its initial phase, Resist COVID/Take 6! was proposed to install billboards in communities with large African American, Latino and/or Native populations throughout the US. The project recently traveled through Dallas and Fort Worth, where more than three dozen billboards in both English and Spanish were installed. Resist COVID/Take 6! has since returned to New York, where Weems conceived of the initiative, and its 10 installations are currently on view in multiple outdoor locations around the Lincoln Center campus.
Weems is the 2013 recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant whose complex image- and text-based works explore themes of power, sexism, class, cultural identity and family. In 2014, she became the first African American woman to exhibit a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. Weems was also recognized in The New York Times’ 2018 “Greats” issue.
Resist COVID/Take 6!
On view now through end of 2020
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023