This week, Jared Bowen reviews the multimedia work of Carrie Mae Weems at McMullen Museum of Art and reviews the Huntington Theatre Company’s new production “Man in the Ring.”

“Carrie Mae Weems: Strategies of Engagement,” on view at McMullen Museum of Art through Dec. 13.

Carrie Mae Weems: Strategies of Engagement
Mourning from Constructing History: A Requiem to Mark the Moment, 2008, pigment ink print, 40 x 40 in.
© Carrie Mae Weems Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

A new exhibition by artist Carrie Mae Weems offers an insightful, provocative and emotional analysis of American history. In “Carrie Mae Weems: Strategies of Engagement,” the McMullen Museum of Art presents a 30-year retrospective of the artist’s multimedia work. Through a mix of photography and video, sometimes featuring the artist’s own voice and body, Weems crafts a nuanced narrative of the race, gender and class dynamics in this country.

“She has used her own body often in her work,” says curator Robin Lydenberg. “She's very aware of her own black, female body carrying with it the burden of a kind of history, and that that has to be performed and acknowledged and recognized, but then also played with and transformed and expanded on.”

Jared describes “Carrie Mae Weems: Strategies of Engagement” as “a must see exhibition. Her voice, intellect and beauty are a vital lens on our times.”

“Man in the Ring,” presented by the Huntington Theatre Company through Dec. 22.

Man in the Ring
Kyle Vincent Terry and John Douglas Thompson in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of Man in the Ring.
T. Charles Erickson Courtesy of the Huntington Theatre Company

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Michael Cristofer brings the tale of a six-time champion prizefighter to the Huntington Theatre Company. Based on a true story, “Man in the Ring” chronicles the life of Emile Griffith, a fighter whose career took a dark turn during a nationally televised 1962 boxing match in which he fatally KO’d an opponent who had previously insulted his sexuality. Actors John Douglas Thompson and Kyle Vincent Terry portray Griffith at different stages of his life in this moving tale of a fighting man full of contradictions.

“For a story with such fury and violence at its center,” says Jared, “'Man in the Ring' is a moving and tender story about holding and finding your own when the world has boxed you in.”

What shows or exhibitions are you looking forward to this winter? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!