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An Interview With The Macarthur Foundation

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In her photographic works, Carrie Mae Weems explores a multitude of issues, including (but not only) gender, social-class and race. In an interview with the MacArthur Foundation (2013), who awarded her the MacArthur fellowship in 2013, she states that “My disadvantage, for the most part, when I am viewed by the world is that I am viewed only in relationship to my black subjectivity... (my work is) partly about race, but, (it 's) considerably more”. Even the biography of Weems ' work on artsy.com (2017) states that her Kitchen Table Series (pictured above) “...depict the artist seated at her kitchen table and examine various tropes and stereotypes of African-American life”. However, in the aforementioned interview, Weems clearly states that…show more content…
To Lacan, there is always a sense of menace about the gaze of the intruder, although one has to wonder, what is the source of this menace? Kripps (2010) pinpoints that the feeling of menace as the acknowledgement of power distribution within the social sphere. I would go further than this, I would call it guilt. Through recognizing their potential to be objectified, both Sartre and Lacan felt guilt about acknowledging their ability to objectify anything within their respective fields of vision. This is what Bryson (1988) refers to as the “Politics of Vision”, which he describes as the ways in which “power uses the social construct of vision”.

Bryson also offers within his essay an alternative theory to that of Sartre and Lacan. This perspective comes from Keiji Nishitani (cited in Bryson, 1988), whose book “Religion and Nothingness” is largely based on the criticism of Sartre 's ideas of subject as central to the field of vision, and the perceived threat from the intruder. Nishitani argues for radical impermanence; that the object is what it is only in relation to other objects and that the perceived qualities of the object are impermanent. All objects are in a constant state of growth and decay and they all change depending on their environments. Furthermore, the only way to stabilize an object would be to blank out the entire universe around it. Both subject and object rely on each other to
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