Carrie Mae Weems ; The Photographers' Gallery, London; 16/1/91

David Bailey's introductory speech touched upon the profile of black photographers, and the formation of 'Autograph Association of Black Photographers', of which Fani-Kayode was a founder member. This brought together a whole range of black practitioners who considered how they positioned themselves through their work, looking for a site for critical practice, ways to maintain difference and avoid tendencies to homogenise black photography.

Carrie Mae Weems is black American photographer whose work explores African-American identity and its articulation. This lecture, illustrated with a slide show, considered how black photographers have deconstructed the stereotyped image of victimhood. She began with outlining the development of photography in the 20th century as the key tool for constructing and describing realities, and introduced the notion that in a postmodern landscape, the crisis of white western identity, characterised by the 'search for the self' through nation, identity and the body, was being paralleled by a new ascendancy of black culture. Through the course of the lecture she refers to the work of Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus, William Hillston, Doris Noonan, Eugene Smith, Walker Evans, Allan Sekula, Hans Haacke, Wordi Karan, James Banks, P H Polk, Frank Stewart, Kundi Ackerman, Eucrie Smith, Mickie Ferrell and more, looking at the use of traditional photographic genres and their evolution in the conveyance of identity and difference, as well as manners of presentation such as the photo-text book.

The recording ends abruptly before the end of the lecture and the last section of the MP3 is blank.


Accession No. WAA.032
Artist: Carrie Mae Weems
Container annotation: David A. Bailey, Carrie Mae Weems, Memorial Lecture for Rotimi Fani Kayode
Place/Year: The Photographers' Gallery, London 16/1/91
Type: Lecture
Technical aspects: 40'
Duration: 40'
Tape capacity: 120
Tape brand: TDK