Untitled, Film Still n. 15

Gender roles

Gender identity

Gender stereotypes: Subject / object

This piece belongs to the series Untitled Film Stills, created between 1977 and 1980. The series includes eighty-four black and white photographs in which Cindy Sherman poses as fictional characters of classic Hollywood and European film, drawing on many of the traditional female stereotypes. Sherman is both the subject and the object of her own creation, subverting the passive role that artistic tradition has typically attributed to women. The piece reveals the context of second-wave feminism, referred to by the philosopher Judith Butler as “gender performativity”. The creation both of the self and of gender identity is a cultural construct, and is therefore unstable.