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PRINT January 1993

CINDY SHERMAN: BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE

CONSIDERING THE MANY genres Cindy Sherman has developed in her photographs—film stills, fashion photos, fairy tales, art-historical portraiture, scenes of dummies deployed in sex acts. Consider, too, the critical discourses engaged in her work—deconstructive post-Modernism, the photograph’s dialectic of absence and presence, theories of representation. Consistently, Sherman’s photography is positioned in the convergence of discourses, rather than squarely in any one of them; and in that convergence, the feminist content of her work emerges. Like her rehearsal and performance of permutations of (her)self, the many feminisms that have been read into her work mirror both shifts in feminist thinking over the years and the current, internecine struggles over sexuality and representation that are erupting within our communities.

Skirting the fray of clashing feminisms, many critics

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