Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thoroughly Modern Cindy

Sturken and Cartwright mention photographer Cindy Sherman as an example of reflexivity--a style in modernism which is the "self-awareness of one's inevitable immersion in everyday and popular culture" that leads modern artists "to produce works which reflexively examine their own relation to the artwork or the artwork's institutional context" (old textbook 254).

I went to the International Center of Photographer during the break and Cindy Sherman was one of the artists that was part of the Triennial show, so I appreciate that it was mentioned in our reading. Though she stars in her photos, Cindy Sherman does not create self-portraits because she is not herself but rather is playing a role to make a statement. Her position as both artist and subject "invites us to think reflexively about subjectivity and gendered processes of identification, cultural memory, and fantasy in postmodern visual culture" (256).

In this photo, Cindy Sherman is playing all 4 women, having fun at a party with red cups at hand. There are only minor details among the women, in their makeup, hairstyle, and outfits, speaking to the "herd mentality that ironically pervades an industry celebrating individuality and personal style." In this photo, Sherman makes a statement on the irony of wanting to be both part of a group and being individual, concluding with an inevitable result of being a replication. This idea of reflexivity in modernism is actually ubiquitous that even/esp street artists such as Banksy use it in their art.

1 comment:

  1. Sherman's work also deals with issues of reproduction and image appropriation -- both major tenets of post-modernism. Sherman is one of a group of artists, first working in the 1970s under the (often-limiting) umbrella of appropriation.