Jessica will be our guide on this article. Just a few musings…..
1. What is Cindy Sherman’s attitude toward art history as a “genre” (as it were)?
2. Do you believe this as gospel truth?
3. What are the subversive elements of Sherman’s reinterpretation of Raphael’s portrait of the courtesan/La Fornarina?
4. The gaze: discuss!
5. Arthur Danto regards this work as a complex transaction between the “original and her tableaux vivant comment on it.” Unpack this critique.
6. Why was Bacchus often a guise for artistic self-portraits?
7. Where else has Melancholia reared its head in this course?
8. Discuss the subversive qualities in Sherman’s appropriation of this portrait, if any exist. Do you agree with the author’s reasons for the literal character of this portrait?
9. Do you feel that copies of “masterpieces” have power over their prototypes?
Vylencia will be leading the discussion next week on the Self-Portraits of Nikki S. Lee, Anthony Goicolea, and David Henry Brown, Jr.
1. Lee’s work demonstrates the constructed nature of identity in a very pointed, often humorous manner. What does her work say about assimilation in society?
2. How do you think the various groups she joins react to her presence? To what do you attribute her “socially fluid” nature?
3. Goicolea’s work deals with adolescent self-obsession and sexuality. Yet his works are also quite poignant. Why is that?
4. On page 49 the author states “Vanity is the backbone of all art; at its essence, all art says, look at my view of the world, it is better, more accurate, more beautiful, than yours.” Discuss!
5. What position must the viewer assume in Goicolea’s works? Why is this so fraught with ambiguity?
6. Do you agree that the artist’s sexual orientation colors the reception of his work?
7. Brown explores identity in terms of celebrity. And not just any celebrity. Out of the works discussed in this article, which did you respond to on a conceptual level?
8. Discuss Brown’s opinion of himself vis a vis the rest of mankind. Classism: discuss! Did you agree with the author’s assessment of Brown’s body of work?
9. Dalton characterizes these artists as conceptualists who use photography to explore issues of social identity. In what ways is the work of Cindy Sherman similar? In what ways is it different?