Grand Canyon University From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried Series Photo Discussion

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Grand Canyon University


1. Select any 1 of Carrie Mae Weems' photographs from her Kitchen Table series (1990)and provide an in-depth analysis of her choices in form, subject matter, and symbolism.

  • Be sure to clearly identify your chosen photograph and include a thumbnail.

2. Provide a working definition of "the oppositional gaze," in your own words. How does this concept help us to think critically about representation, the larger cultural themes, and interventions found within Weems' work?

3. Think critically about and discuss how Weems' From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried series (1995)offers an example of how the history of photography can be re-viewed and critiqued through an oppositional gaze.

4. Offer some ideas about how "the oppositional gaze" informs contemporary visual culture. Are there any photographs, filmmakers, or artists that seem to be engaging with this concept in their work?

5. Select any 1 of Catherine Opie's photographs (in particular, her works of portraiture or self-portraiture) and provide an in-depth analysis of her choices in form, subject matter, and allusions to classical art history.

6.In your own words, provide a working explanation of Laura Mulvey's concept/theory of "the male gaze." What does she mean by this and how does this influential concept/theory help us to think critically about representation and the power dynamics underlying photography (ie: looking vs. being looked at or taking a photograph vs. having your photograph taken)?

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Explanation & Answer




Oppositional Gaze

Student’s Name

Oppositional Gaze

Question One

The twenty photos and fourteen text panels of the Kitchen Table Collection tell a
tale of the existence of a woman in her intimate environment. The kitchen is one of the
key spaces in house and women’s culture, frames her narrative, and shows her
connections with colleagues in her numerous ventures of aggression, insecurity,
diversion, tenderness, and isolation, with husbands, mothers, kids, peers, and her senses
(Hirsch, 2017). In the figure seen below the woman stands alone, powerful and
independent, gazing straight at the audience, with her arms put firmly on the kitchens'
table, where the activities transpired under a light of questioning. Weems looks suggest
that this work of art is the war over family monogamy as well as between sexes. While
Kitchen Table Series portrays a black subject, Weem's goal is to represent Everywoman’s
perspectives and to communicate through race and class boundaries in the picture.

Question Two

Oppositional Gaze


Oppositional gaze refers to Hook�...

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