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About Society: Cindy Sherman

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1 About Society: Cindy Sherman

2 Enduring Understanding
You will understand that… …how artists portray themselves and people they encounter in a variety of ways.

3 Essential Questions Overarching What is a portrait?
What are human relations? Topical - What is the role of women in society? - How does media perpetuate identities?

4 Essential Questions Overarching What is a portrait?
The art of representing the physical or psychological likeness of a real or imaginary individual. The principal portrait media are painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. From earliest times the portrait has been considered a means to immortality. Many cultures have attributed magical properties to the portrait: symbolization of the majesty or authority of the subject, substitution for a deceased individual's living presence or theft of the soul of the living subject.

5 5W1H When 1954 How Where Photography USA Cindy Sherman Why A woman in
A male dominated Society. What Issues of Modern World Role of Woman Role of Artist Which Postmodern Art Where USA When 1954 Cindy Sherman 5W1H

6 Bio-Data 1954: Born in Glenn Ridge, New Jersey.
: Studied photography at Buffalo State College 1977: The start of her Untitled Film Stills. 1980: The creation of her Rear-Screen Projections where she played dress-up like those film stills and paraded against a projected slide background). : The Disasters and Fairy Tales series. : The History Portraits. 1992: Sex Pictures 1997: Directorial Debut- Office Killer

7 Where USA The advent of television.
B movies- motion pictures produced in a low or modest budget. National Endowment of the Arts was created in It is an agent that supports and fund art projects (like our National Arts Council). NEA cuts funding in due to Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ.

8 Women in film noir (Background information)
Film stills from actual film noir movies. How are the women being portrayed here?

9 Women in film noir (Background information)
The quintessential femme fatale of film noir uses her sexual attractiveness and ruthless cunning to manipulate men in order to gain power, independence, money, or all three at once. She rejects the conventional roles of devoted wife and loving mother that mainstream society prescribes for women, and in the end her transgression of social norms leads to her own The femme fatale's destructive break for freedom in The Lady from Shanghai (1948) destruction and the destruction of the men who are attracted to her. Film noir's portrayal of the femme fatale, therefore, would seem to support the existing social order — and particularly its rigidly defined gender roles — by building up the powerful, independent woman, only to punish her in the end. But a closer look at film noir suggests an opposite interpretation. Even when it depicts women as dangerous and worthy of destruction, film noir also shows that women are confined by the roles traditionally open to them - that their destructive struggle for independence is a response to the restrictions that men place on them.

10 Untitled Film Stills Series
Gelatin silver print., 18 x 24 cm

11 Untitled Film Still #6 Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth

12 Untitled Film Stills Series
Gelatin silver print., 17.9 x 24 cm

13 Untitled Film Stills Series
Gelatin silver print, 76.2 x cm

14 Untitled Film Stills Series
Gelatin silver print, 19 x 24.1 cm MoMa, New York

15 Centerfold series Untitled Film Still #87, 1981
Chromogenic print, 59.2 x cm

16 Centerfold series Untitled Film Still #90

17 Untitled (Marilyn) Untitled (Marilyn), 1982
Chromogenic print, 39.4 x 23.3 cm SFMOMA, San Francisco

18 Rear-Screen Projections
Untitled Film Still #66, Rear-screen projections with colour photograph, 38.9 x 59.5 cm Untitled Film Still #75, Rear-screen projections, 50.8 x 61 cm

19 Disasters and Fairy Tales Series
Untitled Film Still #130, 140, & 157

20 Untitled Film Still #188, 1989 Colour photograph, 110.5 x 166.4 cm
Disaster Series Untitled Film Still #188, 1989 Colour photograph, x cm MoMA, New York

21 Disasters and Fairy Tales Series
She uses mannequin and prosthesis for the first time in this series of work. It is a display of beauty and violence. She addresses the victimization of women- as an object used and discarded.

22 “the images are little more than smug parodies of classical art portraiture and make no emotional connection, or provoke any inner exploration by the viewer” – review by a critic

23 The images in the History series either relate directly to images in classical European painting (the so-called Old Masters), or relate more generally to types found during that period. Although she created the series in (arguably) Europe’s greatest living museum, La Citta Eterna (the Eternal City), incredibly she claims that she derived her inspiration vicariously. She’s been quoted as saying, “When I was doing those history pictures I was living in Rome but never went to the churches and museums there. I worked out of books, with reproductions. It’s an aspect of photography I appreciate conceptually: the idea that images can be reproduced and seen anytime, anywhere, by anyone.” That said, the photos remain original conceptions, loosely based upon but not duplicates of original works.

24 Untitled #183, 193, 199, 204, 205, respectively
The History Portraits Untitled #183, 193, 199, 204, 205, respectively

25 Cindy Sherman. Untitled #205. c.1989
Raphael.  La Fornarina. c Oil on panel. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome, Italy Cindy Sherman.  Untitled #205. c.1989

26 The History Portraits These are taken from the portraitures done by the old masters- Caravaggio and Raphael. Sherman mimics the poses and backgrounds. There are altogether 35 renderings of these old portraits. There’s an element of quirky humour in the works. They are exaggerations of the conventional male and female stereotypes in Western art.

27 Untitled Film Still #253 & 261 (Cropped)
Sex Pictures Untitled Film Still #253 & 261 (Cropped)

28 Sex Pictures Series This series of works comprise of huge colour photographs. Dummies, medical dolls and prosthesis are used in “caught in the act” arrangement. The works are in-your-face, offensive and disturbing to some but humorous to others. It is a reaction to pornography- women as sexual objects and ugliness. It is also a reaction against American double-standard of conservatism- Between art and obscenity.

29 Office Killer Office Killer, 1997 Film

30 What Gender stereotypes in popular culture- women.
Subject matter - the body. She models a type and not herself. She constructs a myriad of female identity. Gender stereotypes in popular culture- women. Women and vulnerability or women and their roles in a male-dominated society. She questions the notion of beauty and ugliness in an image-based society- beauty perpetuated by the media. Voyeurism- viewing through the masculine eye. Real vs. reel- what is real and what is reel? Her works- a mixture of desire and sexual fantasy, apprehension, oppression and victimization.

31 Why Background She has always enjoyed dressing up since young.
She met fellow artist Robert Longo at Buffalo State University College. She formed Hallwalls, an independent artists’ space with Longo and Charles Clough. She began taking photographs of herself from 1977 as soon as she graduated. These photographs came to be known as the Untitled Film Stills (the most well-known and familiar work of Sherman’s). Sherman also acted in B- movies.

32 Which Postmodern postmodernism or Postmodernism, architecture or literature that reacts against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes. (artlex) Modernism- art movement that rejected the Victorian standards of how art should be made, consumed, and mean.

33 Examples Romeo + Juliet by Baz Luhrmann Great Expectations
by Alfonso Cuarón

34 How Photography - Using herself and dress-up as intended characters.
- Sherman leaves her photographs untitled and numbered- an act of de-personalizing the portraits. - Sherman makes the characters in the photographs ambiguous- there’s no trait of herself in the photographs.

35 How The use of dolls and prosthetics.
Make up, fake nails, assorted wigs, actual clothes, costumes, found objects. - She aims to provoke her audience with her photographs. - She started with black and white “film noir” style before working in colour.

36 Resources

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