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Current time:0:00Total duration:4:23

Video transcript

hi I'm Shana Lindsay I'm Beth Harris okay we're here to talk about this image it's called untitled film still number 49 it does look like a film though it does and there are certain things that give it that look which is what she's going for so it's not really a film's though right exactly it's the appearance that this is a and she did a whole series of film still right photographs that looked like films over a number of years this is sort of at the beginning of that phase when she does that so this is one of the earlier ones and she wants all of them to look like they might be from some sort of a narrative this is Cindy Sherman herself right that's the thing that a lot of people don't recognize that this is she's in the photograph herself she always dresses up and really kind of morphs you know from one she can really look really different in each of them exactly she dresses up obviously makeup helps in this case she's trying to look like she's in a 1960s probably and it makes me aware of the conventions of how they've look in movies you know the sort of rhetoric of that kind of storytelling exactly the lighting she's she's just when she moves had the look in her eye right and almost all of these film stills she looks reactive she's reacting to something right which is part of what's giving us this clue that we're looking at something that's supposed to be narrative so she's darting her eyes away it's hard to say what people often read it in different ways you know disgust fear anxiety hmm she's never a totally self possessed person she's always in relation to something that's like somehow outside of our frame of reference here I wonder what that says about being a woman right exactly I think that's sort of what she's you know some of the issue that she's trying to raise here that perhaps our sense of self is contingent always on something else mm-hmm in sense of self that is continuing and that being as always in some way performance yes that's oftentimes the way these are understood that she's kind of masquerading you know he's not donning these different outfits and some people see this as as kind of liberating that what she does is she in some ways dislodges the idea that your identity is fixed you know that and it can be chosen then right so by masquerading you're sort of choosing to act in a certain way or choosing to make yourself read or understood and discern and so some people see her film Celsus as liberating examples for women for women yes yes in particular yeah right so you're not your identity isn't something that's culturally imposed but I mean it's freely chosen freely chosen but then also what's ironic is that she keeps you know in the series she chooses these ultra feminine feminine roles and very stereotypical mhm and because they are reacting they seem slightly fragile so it's it plays on both things I think she wants to borrow the idiom from film mm-hmm that was established by people like Alfred Hitchcock you know the blonde victim it knows I'm the grater so something about to swoop down on her and right and nothing ever does you know and it becomes also sort of about her practice about Cindy Sherman's practice as you know more so certainly than the narrative which here does not exist you know there is no story they never develop into a story right exactly I mean the things that are you know that she's chosen photographically here the upward focus no you're very you're at a very privileged perspective on this person very very low so you know this couldn't be a snapshot or very hard to get a snapshot like that by just angling positioning the camera she's edited out anything that looks contemporary so she's able to put herself in front of these older buildings and have a look we could spent 20 years earlier I wish all things that of course a filmmaker he's doing you