In a career spanning nearly half a century, Carrie Mae Weems has completely rethought the rules of image-making. “Her photographs and short films, as gimlet-eyed and gutsy as they are visually compelling, have gone a long way toward resetting our expectations of pictures and challenging our assumptions about her largely African-American subjects,” writes Megan O’Grady in her profile of the artist. Weems was an obvious candidate to participate in our recurring 10 Polaroids feature, in which we send someone a Polaroid camera and ask them to capture scenes from their life. But what Weems then submitted was unexpected. Among her photographs, below, are some traditional Polaroids; however, to create other images, Weems digitally added a white border to a selection of photographs that she had taken previously — either in the past month, as she rehearsed for a performance at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, or in the past few years — using it as a framing device. Weems, after all, has built her practice around upending our expectations of photography.
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