Bearing Witness
 
Carrie Mae Weems' Legal Challenge to Harvard
 
Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman a.k.a. The Hottentot Venus, early 19th century, Carte-de-Visite.
Nicki Minaj, Anaconda, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nadar, Maria, 1856 - 1859.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McPherson and Oliver (attributed),
The Scourged Back, 1863, carte-de-visite

Sojourner Truth, I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance, 1864, carte-de-visite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violent Criminals Composite
Criminal Profile, 1914
Francis Galton, Violent Criminals Compositie, 1885.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"For nineteenth-century positivists, photography doubly fulfilled the Enlightenment dream of a universal language: the universal mimetic language of the camera yielded up a much higher, cerebral truth, a truth that could be uttered in the universal abstract language of mathematics. For this reason...Photography promised more than a wealth of detail; it promised to reduce nature to its geometrical essence. Presumably then, the archive could provide a standard physiognomic guage of the criminal, could assign each criminal body a relative and quantitative position within a larger ensemble." - Allan Sekula in The Body and the Archive

20th Century California Inmantes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alphonse Bertillon, From Indentification Anthropometrique, 1893.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Pickering Bowditch, Twelve Boston Physicians and Their Composite Portrait,  c. 1894.
Henry Pickering Bowditch, Saxon Soldiers, 1894.
   
Displayed during the First International Eugenics Congress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jewish Type

Francis Galton, The Jewish Type, 1883.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Face of America

Time Magazine, The New Face of America cover, Fall 1993 special issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethnographic Studies

ethnogoraphy = descriptive anthropology

 

Malayan Male
John Lamprey, Front and Profile Views of a Malayan Male, c. 1868 – 1869.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We are confronting, then, a double system: a system of representation capable of functioning both honorifically and repressively." - Allan Sekula
   
Gray Brothers, Young Zulu Warrior in fighting order and in skin kaross armed with hatchet and assegai, c. 1870s.
Zulu Mothers, late nineteenth century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couple from New Caldonia, 19th century
Photographer Unknown, Brinjara and Wife from The People of India, 1868.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Not only was photography to serve as a means of cultural enlightenment for the working classes, but family photographs sustained sentimental ties in a nation of migrants. This 'primal household affection' served a socially cohesive function, [Marcus Aurelius] Root argued - articulating a nineteenth-century familialism that would survive and become an essential ideological feature of American mass culture." - Allan Sekula
Chinese Family, c. 1880s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do we still use images to perpetuate archaic ideas about race?
 
Trayvon Martin, 2013
Michael Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eadward Muybridge, A Modoc Brave on the War Path, 1872 - 1873.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward S. Curtis, Sioux Chiefs,
Ah-del-stohne (Straight Shooter), Adam Clark Vroman, 1903.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"In Mr. Curtis we have both an artist and a trained observer, whose pictures are pictures, not merely photographs." - Theodore Roosevelt

 
The North American Indian, 1907
 
Edward Curtis, Bear Bull-Blackfoot, from The North American Indian, 1926.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problems in Curtis's approach:
  • Preserved his subjects in an imaginary time capsule
  • Excluded non-traditional garments that "real" natives wore
  • Emphasized "traditional" costumes and artifacts that were associated with the Native American
  • Added "authentic" props and artifacts from his studio trunk when not available
  • Identified subjects by ethnographic type instead of by individual name
 
Edward S. Curtis, Oglala War-Party, 1907.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The information that is to be gathered ... respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost." – Edward S. Curtis
Edward S. Curtis, Watching the Dancers - Hopi, 1906.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do we photograph "The Other?"

 

Smallest Girl in the World, Jyot Amge

Gosselin family

The smallest girl in the world -
Jyoti Amge at 16 yrs old

Jon & Kate Plus Eight

Michael Jackson on trial