The original experience
DOI link for The original experience
The original experience book
This chapter interprets the late twentieth-century and early twenty-first- century works of photographer Carrie Mae Weems as a form of 'original experience', that is, a repetition at the origin. It highlights the way their work is deeply American and revelatory of the codes of race that play through American culture, particularly in the American southeast, where, as Blanchot says, 'the irremediable takes the form of an endless repetition, where the same is posed in the dizziness of redoubling'. The chapter focuses on Weems's late twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century photographic series, yet Weems also has created multimedia works, series, and conceptual projects using photographs in conjunction with original written text. Carrie Mae Weems's Louisiana Project and Sally Mann's Deep South and Mother Land series are roughly contemporary, works from the turn of the twenty-first century that can be read side by side, as each contains disturbing echoes of the Greek Revival architecture of the traditional South.