HW #2 Carrie Mae Weems on Race, Appropriation, and Photography

Louis Agassiz used Zealy’s photographs to study and support his theory of polygenesis. He seems not only divide black people from other color of races, but also He defines black people as slavery, no socialized, and no equalized person. However, Carrie Mae Weems used Zealy’s photographs in the opposite way from Louis Agassiz. The Photographs were recreated by Carrie Mae Weems through using the tool of appropriation. She putted texts on the images. Then, the photographs become arts and massages at the same time. She seems to claim the right of equality, freedom, and liberty of black people to public through her works.

People say “A picture is worth a thousand word” I think her work is a great way to deliver her message to public because the images with strong color tones and texts are impressive and attractive. The texts are helpful to read her intentions from her works. She emphasized how the people in photographs were used and classified by white people during taking the photographs at the time. People were naked and set up in front of the camera. They were treated as black thing, subject, and scientific profile because they were slave. Ironically, Carrie Mae Weems seems to succeed to use Zealy’s photographs in the opposite way what Louis Agassiz’s purpose to make the photographs.

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