If ever there was an artist that embodied the full doctrine of Postmodern ineffability Cindy Sherman is that artist. And what’s truly surprising is the lock-step conformity of the Pictures Generation as they lionize one of their own. I have never been able to go the “full Sherman” in the way that Jerry did in his article. I don’t care for the POMO ambiguities. There’s just too much time spent in front of a mirror, too much play acting, too much “stardom” in the manner of Schwarzenegger. No matter the role it’s always Arnold, and in this case, no matter the photo, it’s always Cindy…
“When collectors buy a Sherman photograph, they want her. Last year one of the 1981 “Centrefold” series (pictured) made $3.9m, then a record for a photograph at auction. Bemused by how much collectors want her in the frame, the artist mimics a male voice: “Is she behind that mask? I only want it if she is in there!”” – The Economist
“What is most interesting—and what the show explores wonderfully—is the tension between real and fake, and what is at stake in Ms. Sherman’s playacting. There’s something about the way she depicts personae in her work that has always seemed reminiscent of the first sentence of William Gaddis’s first novel The Recognitions: “Even Camilla had enjoyed masquerades, of the safe sort where the mask may be dropped at that critical moment it presumes itself as reality.””Miller.
“She has a luminous way of breathing life into things that cannot be described. Giving herself over to her own processes, Sherman opens up thought and makes pictures that subtly withdraw from definition, dislodging meaning, undermining ideology, becoming what I’d call radically passive. She sings the song of her selves.” Saltz.
“Ms. Sherman is often lauded for being a skilled, chameleonlike actress, and she is — an actress always teetering on the brink of being in a role, but never all the way in.” Smith.
There’s playfulness and generosity to Sherman’s work, right down to the way she leaves most of it untitled — the better to let viewers create their own narratives. If you like, aim your smartphone at the digital coding alongside the show’s text blocks and hear what other artists have to say about her. Hoffman.
“There comes a time when the true star shines and that time, when a modern Sleeping Beauty lies dead in her glass sarcophagus in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, while her public partied on downstairs, has arrived for Cindy Sherman, whose message of artificial seduction and the simulated trap of the image over our lives is more germane than ever.” Finch.
What does one say about all of this commentary? Only this:
“I know who I am! I’m the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude! You’re a dude who don’t know what dude he is!”