Thinking Ahead – Cindy Sherman case study

Incorporating postmodernism’s ideas of exploring the ‘self’ particularly gender, race, class or sexuality”

A cynical and self referential mannerism…by artists who suffer from a very real isolation from larger social issues” Alan Sekula 1978, p.860 –
Untitled Film Stills & the stereotyping of women – subverting the film culture and make it accessible without the need for an art history degree
How do you feel about this more inclusive and anti-intentionalist approach to creating work? Do you give your viewers this openness of interpretation?

‘like most postmodern culture, Sherman’s photographs feed our nostalgia for bygone eras, at the same time as they offer reflexive critique of that nostalgia’ (Sturken & Cartwright, 2009, P.323)
‘We aren’t seeing her in disguise – we’re seeing her playing someone who is also playing a role’ (Cotter, 2016)
She has been involved in numerous as campaigns..ironic considering the industry is probably most guilty of objectification of women

Postmodern irony

O) How might you position your practice?
O) Is there any visual material which has informed your development? (eg. subject matter, aesthetic, context)
O) Are there any critical/theoretical lenses through which you might look at your work?
O) Are there any critical/theoretical lenses through which others might perceive your work?

Would the real Cindy Sherman please stand up –

Ten years of work not appreciated as it wasn’t her trademark style (Seed 200, Gleason 200)
Did film stills criticise or uphold that process of exploitation? concern of feminist theorists, but not the artist herself
reads the images that femininity is a performance
Often forget there is a supposed narrative built into the film stills for movies that were never created…never intended to be created
Sherman refuses to be labelled a feminist in order to maintain the ambiguity of the work…to stop it being read in a specific way forestalling all others
Also by staying silent she adheres to postmodern theory that the artist cannot have full control over how their work is read – the author’s word in not sacrosanct
Sherman’s work forces us to address the ways in which identities cannot be
authentic but rather are always and only constructed

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