How does the ‘historical’ document box up your past and determine for the rest of the world what your present is? And in the midst of this narrowing of your individual pathway how and who would contribute to a progressive and honest depiction of what that experience actually is? In Carrie Mae Weems work as a multi-media artist and photographer she is consistently aware of these questions as they relate to depictions of African American history and story.
Her work confronts historical and present gender and racially driven constructions in America. Her works draw on the individual, showing the personal story as integral to a re-shaping of an already institutionalized vision of history. They acknowledge prejudice and its prescribed pains opening up a door to honest depiction. The images combine grace, pride and the politically unuttered.
Images from Slow Fade to Black, 2010:
Images from The Louisiana Project, 2003:
Images from The Kitchen Table series, 1990:
Images from Who, What, When, Where, 1998: