RESIST COVID/TAKE 6!
“RESIST COVID/TAKE 6!,” a public service campaign conceptualized by artist Carrie Mae Weems, underlines the importance of public messaging in a time of rampant distrust, widespread inequity, and racial injustice across the US. Juxtaposing inspirational and important messaging with her photographs, Weems highlights the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black, brown, and Native American communities. “TAKE 6!” refers to the recommended six feet of separation in social distancing.
At the MFA, “TAKE 6!,” activates the Museum’s Huntington Avenue facade with a large billboard and posters. The selected billboard uses a photograph from Weems’s 2016 series All the Boys, created in response to the killings of young African American men by police. Now overlaid with messaging about the pandemic, the larger-than-life portrait underscores the lives and livelihoods lost to COVID-19, especially those in communities of color. Additional bilingual posters honor underrecognized frontline workers and provide more hopeful messages of a coming end to the pandemic, reinforced by the graphic on the facade of the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art bearing a pro-vaccination message.
Weems (b. 1953) is one of the most important artists of our time, using her work to deconstruct and recontextualize history while asking probing questions about cultural identities, race, gender, class, and power. In amplifying painful truths, “TAKE 6!” is a call for mobilization against the injustices of social, economic, and health inequalities.
“RESIST COVID/TAKE 6!” is an initiative of Carrie Mae Weems Social Studies 101, with producing collaborators, THE OFFICE performing arts + film. In addition to Boston, this initiative is being activated in multiple cities nationwide including New York, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
Generously supported by the Shah Family Foundation.