These are snapshots of America's collective unconscious.
Cindy Sherman grew up in the era when old movies filled our late nights. She wrote about going to a dinner party with her parents when she was a child, and ending up in the basement watching"Rear Window"alone. As an artist in the 1980s, she began taking self-portraits in costumes and settings that called those old black-and-white movies to mind --- they were "stills" for films that didn't exist, but might have. She would change in the back of a van and emerge on the street as an ingnue, a movie star, a soon-to-be murder victim. In a media-saturated age,"Untitled Film Stills"suggested that Sherman's identity as a woman was constructed from other people's narratives. They influenced a generation of artists who play with identity as a kind of performance. Photography curator Eva Respini sees her influence extending beyond the art world --- to basically anyone who has ever taken a selfie."The selfie is not about who you really are," Respini says. "It's about how you look best in the camera to your friends, creating a narrative of what you're doing."
(Originally aired October 11, 2013)
A selection of photos from Cindy Sherman's original series:
Cindy Sherman's latest self-portraits are on view at Metro Pictures gallery in New York through June 11
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