Collections: Photography: [Untitled Film Still]

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    1989.30.35_PS2.jpg 1989.30.35.jpg

    [Untitled Film Still]

    Always interested in changing identities, Cindy Sherman consistently acts as her own model. Her photographs depict female characters and usually imply a narrative outside of the picture frame. Sherman’s visual vocabulary is shaped by American culture, and her characters are inspired by types from film, fashion, television, and advertising. The photographs in this group portray women outside of the domestic sphere, distant from traditional female roles as mothers and wives. Untitled Film Still #38 shows a woman cautiously wading into a stream, her posture suggesting that this excursion has a purpose, a goal to be reached within the story. The blurred composition is the result of Sherman’s first experimentation with a heavy telephoto lens, which weighed the camera down on the tripod and altered the focus. Sherman welcomes this element of chance in her work.

    • Artist: Cindy Sherman, American, born 1954
    • Medium: Gelatin silver photograph
    • Dates: 1979
    • Dimensions: Image: 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (17.1 x 24.1 cm) Sheet: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Photography
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 1989.30.35
    • Edition: 2/10
    • Credit Line: Anonymous gift in memory of Jack Boulton
    • Rights Statement: © Cindy Sherman. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures
    • Caption: Cindy Sherman (American, born 1954). [Untitled Film Still], 1979. Gelatin silver photograph, Image: 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (17.1 x 24.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift in memory of Jack Boulton, 1989.30.35. © Cindy Sherman. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures
    • Image: overall, 1989.30.35_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
    • Catalogue Description: Metro pictures #38
    • Record Completeness: Best (85%)
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    Recent Comments
    01:11 12/8/2009
    What has always bothered me about the untitled film stills is that Sherman is supposed to become the anonymous woman of so many films, but it's more often that the star herself is memorable--not the character. From Audrey Hepburn and Holly Golightly, to Barbra Streisand and Fanny Brice, more likely are we remember the name of the star than the name of her role. Similarly, these photographs are significant not because of the Sherman's many roles, but rather because Sherman is the star in all of them. In my mind instead of every character critiquing these types of female roles, it just builds her "filmography" into potpourri that is cohesive because of her alone--not anonymity, not typology, not role, not stereotype.

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