CURATORS Miranda Wallace, Ellie Buttrose OTHER VENUES Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 28 May–3 October 2016 SPONSOR EY, Massey University, City Gallery Foundation PUBLICATION publisher Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art; texts Miranda Wallace, Ellie Buttrose, Robert Leonard, Betsy Berne
None of the characters are me. They’re everything but me.
She’s good enough to be a real actress.
Cindy Sherman has changed the face of contemporary art by constantly manipulating her own image. For over forty years she has used herself as her own model in staged photographs, transforming her appearance through make-up, costumes, wigs, prostheses, and more recently, digital effects.
Her chameleon-like transformations offer a sustained, cutting and at times disturbing investigation of gender, social conditioning, narcissism and celebrity culture. These photographs have made Sherman one of the most influential artists living today. She is as important to art history as she is to pop culture. Sherman has transformed how we think about photography, especially its role in shaping personal and collective identities.
Cindy Sherman is a major exhibition of Sherman’s photography since 2000, the moment when she returned to photographing herself after a decade of wilful absenteeism from her own work. It features seven major series where Sherman investigates a range of new and troublesome ‘types’ (socialites, fashion victims, clowns), and includes her collaborations with fashion houses Balenciaga and Chanel. The exhibition showcases Sherman’s embrace of digital technologies to alter the ways she makes and presents her images. A mammoth, multi-character photographic mural wrapping around one of City Gallery’s spaces exemplifies the range of new and disarming experiences offered by Sherman’s twenty-first-century work.