Sexuality Policy Watch

Cindy Sherman: Infinite gender impersonations

Sherman 2

Cindy Sherman is an internationally recognized North American photograph and  artist. Her  extensive works  thematize  gender impersonations.  Sherman photographs herself impersonating  a  wide variety of women as they exist in the  life world. She also reinterprets classical images of Western painting. A clear affinity exists between the her aesthetic  research and queer theory, in particular the concept of performativity developed by Judith Butler. This is illustrated by  a video documenting Butler visiting a  Sherman’s  exhibition in Paris and commenting on the images.

The subtle and at the same time brutal embodiment exercises Sherman were the best we found to illustrate the rebellion of Brazilian feminists challenging the  ‘feminine ideal’ projected by the right leaning Veja magazine, immediately after the impeachment vote. The article described the potential new first lady as Beautiful, maidenlike, and “a housewife”. As Forbes  remarked  the rebellious reaction to this ideological operation was immediate, widely spread and good humored.

Read and interview with Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman at Tate

To learn more about her


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