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Carrie Mae Weems Captures Her Life in 10 Unconventional ‘Polaroids’

By T: The New York Times Style Magazine

 
 

“Nona Hendryx and Terri Lyne Carrington — my two collaborators at the Power Station, N.Y.C., prepping for ‘Refrigerated Dreams’ and ‘Children on Bondage.’”

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“Tanya Selvaratnam, the courageous, who called out E. Schneiderman, along with the other almost hundred men accused of sexual harassment, assault, rape or the solicitation of minors, since 1980.”

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“Francesca Harper — on point — choreographer for ‘Refrigerated Dreams.’”

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“‘A History of Violence — a Case Study,’ a new installation at Cornell University.”

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“Does the door close after you, you or you?”

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“On Losing the Presidency: Where were you when I needed you last summer?”

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“Your dog is bigger than my dog, or ‘Comparison Shopping.’”

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“Another one gone.”

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“Jeff and Carrie, Inkwell Beach.”

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“All the Boys.”

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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.