Los Angeles’ new contemporary art museum, The Broad, is honouring photography phenom Cindy Sherman in its inaugural special exhibition. Guest curator Philipp Kaiser discusses Sherman’s enduring appeal in our imagesaturated world.
What makes Cindy Sherman so iconic?
By photographing herself (she usually works alone), her chameleon-like personas generate works of utter beauty and disturbance, borrowing the language of media from cinema and television, to advertising, the Internet, and even Old Master paintings. Her persistence to focus on the fragmented self for almost 40 years is radical and distinct.
What fresh take does this exhibit offer?
For the show, Cindy created two enormous murals, which are based on her early rear-screen projections and welcome the viewer into her world. Along with several new photographs, the exhibition offers a comprehensive survey of her work since 1975.
Sherman’s work is often considered to have a feminist agenda. What’s your take on this?
It can’t be denied that her work has a strong feminist angle. Over the years, many critics have focused on Cindy’s practice of staging stereotypes within a feminist framework. At the same time, the fact needs to be stressed that her work has gone way beyond gender specifics and deals with representation in mass media in general.
Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life runs June 11 to October 2, at The Broad. Visit sstylemag.com for the full interview.