I don’t know how to handle this History question and need guidance.
DISCUSSION 6.4 :
The Oppositional Gaze and Carrie Mae Weems
Answer the following in full sentences and a cohesive short essay format (at least 1 paragraph for each numbered section):
1. Select any 1 of Carrie Mae Weems’ photographs from her Kitchen Table series (1990) and provide an in-depth analysis of her choices in form, subject matter, and symbolism.
- Be sure to clearly identify your chosen photograph and include a thumbnail.
2. Provide a working definition of “the oppositional gaze,” in your own words. How does this concept help us to think critically about representation, the larger cultural themes, and interventions found within Weems’ work?
3. Think critically about and discuss how Weems’ From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried series (1995) offers an example of how the history of photography can be re-viewed and critiqued through an oppositional gaze.
- Think back to our Week 3discussion of J.T. Zealy’s racists daguerrotypes of enslaved African Americans, including Jack (ca. 1850s, daguerrotype).
- Think about how Weems’ uses key choice in form to reveal the deeper, darker history of photography and invent the viewer to see this history in a new way.
4. Offer some ideas about how “the oppositional gaze” informs contemporary visual culture. Are there any photographs, filmmakers, or artists that seem to be engaging with this concept in their work?