The Shape of Things

“Compelling…the visual and historical connections [Weems] makes [are] often insightful, sometimes funny, and occasionally quite direct.”
The New York Times, Critic’s Pick

“Powerful…deeply compelling [and] at moments even revelatory.”

Carrie Mae Weems, an artist who has consistently and poignantly addressed the conditions of race in the United States, will create a multi-work installation and series of performances titled The Shape of Things. Weems’ unflinching gaze at what she describes as the “pageantry” and “circus-like” quality of contemporary American political life find form in a series of large-scale installations and a cyclorama (a panoramic image on the inside of a cylindrical platform) of six to eight projections of new and existing film footage where Weems addresses the turmoil of current events and the “long march forward.” Suggestive of a 19th-century carnival with dioramas based on spontaneous street memorials, peep shows, and a Pepper’s Ghost, The Shape of Things is an incisive, powerfully emotional, and critical reflection on events both deeply embedded in American culture and history and the explosive events of the past year.

Land of Broken Dreams Convening & Concert Series
Thursday, December 9–Saturday, December 11, 2021

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This monumental series of installations is accompanied by Land of Broken Dreams, a large-scale, multidisciplinary convening and concert series that will activate the Armory with a wide range of conversations, presentations, and performances featuring artists, poets, singers, dancers, thinkers, and scholars sharing work and exploring some of the most urgent issues facing society today.


The Shape of Things is supported by generous grants from the Ford Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the VIA Art Fund, Ken Kuchin and Tyler Morgan, and the Robert Lehman Foundation. The production is also supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photo © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


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December 2–31, 2021

Tuesdays–Thursdays: 12:00pm–7:00pm
Fridays: 12:00pm–9:00pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 12:00pm–6:00pm
Special Holiday Hours
Friday, December 24: 12:00pm–4:00pm
Monday, December 27: 12:00pm–7:00pm
Friday, December 31: 12:00pm–4:00pm

Tickets: $18 (plus fees); free for Armory members

Wade Thompson Drill Hall

Health and Safety Protocols
All ticket-holders must be fully vaccinated. “Fully vaccinated” means that you received your final dose of an FDA or WHO-approved vaccine at least 14 days before your performance date. At check-in, ticket holders will be required to show proof of full vaccination (the New York State Excelsior Pass or a hard copy or photo of your vaccination card) and a government-issued photo ID.

Update as of December 17, 2021
In view of the rising incidence of COVID-19 infections, we are implementing the following safety protocols within the Armory: masks must be properly worn at all times by patrons and staff; social distancing of 6 feet where feasible; hand sanitizing stations throughout the public areas; coat check handled by staff wearing gloves and masks; and constant air refreshing in the Drill Hall, in addition to the vaccination requirements described above.

To view additional COVID-19 Policies, please visit our FAQs page.

Other Ways to Buy
Tickets can be purchased by phone by calling the Box Office at (212) 933-5812 (M–F, 10:00am–6:00pm).

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