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Untitled from the Africa Series (When Allah...)

Carrie Mae Weems

(Portland, Oregon, 1953 - )

1993-1995

Three gelatin silver prints and screenprint on paper

20 in. x 20 in. (50.8 cm x 50.8 cm)

Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media

1996.5 a-d

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Carrie Mae Weems has always placed African American experience, culture and history at the center of her art. Through them, she conveys the experiences of people affected by prejudice and lack of power. Her approach to photography is conceptual rather than documentary. Her art juxtaposes text and image, past and present and the subjective ear of the folklorist with the supposedly objective eye of the camera, urging us to question our perceptions and history as it is written. The African roots of African American culture fascinate Weems. The Sea Island Series explores the legends of the Gullah, people living on coastal islands off South Carolina and Georgia. The Africa Series traces those roots back to their place of origin. Weems makes the viewer imagine and feel, fulfilling an important goal of much art—to allow the viewer to experience the world through another’s eyes.

Keywords
African American
Gelatin Silver
Landscapes
Metaphor
Rural
Text in art
Trees