Cindy Sherman started making her Untitled Film Stills thirty-five years ago. I suppose it’s part of the nature of that project that though the images are now very familiar and though others have moved into Sherman’s territory in the meanwhile, her images don’t seem dated. In mimicking different film genres, Sherman created a body of work that has a certain level of timelessness built in. Nonetheless, thirty-five years is a long time and the Cindy Sherman who appears in the pictures in the on-going Untitled series over the past decade or so is very different from the young woman who appeared in the Untitled Film Stills. Sherman is now middle aged and the work she’s made in recent years reflects this; she is a woman of a certain age.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #3, 1977
By way of description, the image depicts a domestic scene in which the character – seemingly a housewife – stands at her kitchen sink. The construction of the picture hints at a number of possible narratives and is open to a range of analyses. Though almost cropped from the picture, the woman’s gaze – out of frame and away from the viewer, accentuated by eye makeup surely unnecessary in her own kitchen – holds my attention.