Sprüth Magers Berlin is delighted to present Cindy Sherman’s first exhibition of new work in Europe since 2004. The fourteen colour photographs assembled develop Sherman’s longstanding investigation into notions of gender, beauty and self-fashioning, and reveal a particular concern to probe experiences and representations of aging. Working as her own model for more than 30 years, Sherman has developed an extraordinary relationship with her camera, and her audience, capturing herself in a range of guises and personas which are by turn alarming and amusing, distasteful and poignant. A remarkable performer, subtle distortions of her face and body are captured on camera, leaving the artist unrecognizable as she deftly alters her features, and brazenly manipulates her surroundings.
Each of the women which feature in Sherman’s new exhibition share an acute consciousness of glamour and social hierarchy, which is both disquietingly flagrant and sardonically relevant to contemporary obsessions with image and status. In one photograph (Untitled #465, 2008), the fiercely proud eyes of a woman installed in her warped and blurred country estate stare out of a face regrettably cracked and peeling with age, ill concealed by make-up, hair-dye or expensive pearls. In another work from the series (Untitled #467, 2008), a woman with a tight sequined skirt, fake gold jewellery and extravagant fake white nails also glares out, perhaps daring the viewer to call her trash, or ruefully acknowledging that this is what she is. It is ultimately impossible, however, to fix any stable narrative in Sherman’s work; different levels of pretence and authenticity operate and interact in her images to complicate any straightforward reading of her characters, or the stories they might tell the viewer.
Find the full press release here.
Winnie, Anna, and Ford
I really loved the show, the space was wonderful (above photo is the ceiling) and it felt good to meet other artists and discuss the photos.
After the gallery opening Harriet (above) had the grand idea of heading to Clärchens Ballhaus, a wonderful dance hall that has been hosting dances since 1913. Even through war this place was said to have kept going. On this particular evening it was Swing night, we mostly just watched, but towards the end we couldn’t resist and ended up going out and giving it a go. The whole thing made me so happy, these elderly couples who were obviously regulars along side teenagers who wanted to learn from the masters. Anyone who ever believed Germans to be cold and unfriendly has obviously never been here, the happy warmth seemed to radiate.
My favorite had to be this older man who looked at least 80 that had a smile on his face the whole night. All the girls were dancing with him and even a few men which was truly heartwarming to see. Not only these beautiful people dancing around and losing their self consciousness in it but also these big German men dancing together, everyone smiling. I didn’t get to see the upstairs but here are some photos from the web. If you come to Berlin I highly recommend this being one of your stops!