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I Looked and Looked to See What so Terrified You from the Louisiana Project

© Carrie Mae Weems. Image courtesy of the artist.

I Looked and Looked to See What so Terrified You from the Louisiana Project

Artist: Carrie Mae Weems (born in Portland, Oregon, 1953)
Culture: American
Date: 2003
Medium: Chromogenic prints
Dimensions:
Each image/sheet: 35 3/4 × 23 3/4 inches (90.8 × 60.3 cm)
Each frame: 36 7/16 × 24 7/16 × 1 5/8 inches (92.6 × 62.1 × 4.1 cm)
State: 4
Edition: 5 + 1 AP
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:In this diptych, Carrie Mae Weems presents identical, but flipped, images of herself gazing into a mirror, her hand held up to stroke her hair. Weems’ position as both artist and subject connects directly to the process of identity formation, which involves not just looking at and projecting oneself, but also the experience of being looked at by others. In this way, the artist highlights the differences and effects of self-representation and imposed representations. The mirror images of the photograph are further extensions of the mirror the artist holds in her hand. Her dress made from quilts offers another instance of inversion, as quilts are often made from repurposed dresses. It also serves as a symbol of the accumulation of history, with cultures and heritages becoming layered, patched, and intertwined, informing our understanding of who we are and where we come from. This work comes from Weems’s Louisiana Project, which explores the continuing legacy of southern history and social customs.
Provenance: Jack Shainman Gallery, New York acquired the work directly from the artist.
Object number: 2014.3.1