Cindy Sherman

Who is Cindy Sherman? The artist Cindy Sherman is who she isn’t, and who she isn’t changes with every new photograph. In her staged pictures, she assumes a wide variety of female roles. Thanks to perfect costuming and lighting, she might be a wanton student one moment, and the next, a film star, a housewife, or a clown. By exaggerating the mostly stereotypical images of women and their apparent interchangeability, she suggests that any identity is a construct. Sherman produced the Bus Riders and Murder Mystery People series in 1976 right after finishing her degree. Her gift for observation and acting talent meant that she could portray a broad range of different characters, perfectly capturing their expression and posture, even as the self-timer cable points in each case to the artificiality of the situation, revealing the photographs as self-portraits. For her celebrated Untitled Film Stills, which were produced between 1977 and 1979, these intimations of insecurity gave way to the question of whether the pictures might not in fact be film stills. The exhibition Dancing with Myself puts in dialogue these works with a large number of very recent photographs (2016) where Cindy Sherman acts the part of aging ladies inspired by silent-movie stars. The black & white small-format images, cobbled together in the nineteen-seventies, are confronted here with large formats, sumptuous prints, and sophisticated decors… in a similar critique of gender and selfhood stereotypes.