The first photo I chose is one from Sherman’s “untitled film stills” collection. It is #35 of the exhibit, published in 1979. This photo has several features that make it extremely compelling For one, the camera is very far away from it’s subject. It’s a longitudinal show, and slightly below the woman pictured. Therefore, I got the sense that the camera wasn’t supposed to be there, that whatever this character is feeling is not something that she wants document. Next, the juxtaposition in this picture is quite striking. The woman is dressed in a nice dress and shoes with her hair done and her face made up. She has an apron on, which signals domesticity. However, the house looks like it’s falling apart at the seams. The paint is chipping, wall-boards are coming apart. It’s a very interesting contrast. Also, The woman’s stance and expression are quite captivating. She’s turned away from the camera, almost as if she’s hiding something or trying to hide from something. It’s almost as if she’s watching for something bad to happen. Finally, her placement in front of the door puzzled me. I wasn’t sure whether she was trying to leave, get away from something inside the house, or whether the door was a shield and protecting her from something inside the house. Either way, it was captivating.
The second photo that I found interesting was the picture of a society woman. We discussed this briefly in class. It is evident that she is portraying a high-socitey woman because of several features. She’s wearing copious amounts makeup, attempting to make herself appear younger than she obviously is. She’s wear pearls and, from the looks of it, a couture gown. The background is beautiful and reminds me of the stunning national parks I saw on my visit to barcelona this past summer. However, the most compelling part of the photo, in my opinion, is Sherman’s expression. This woman could be seen as cold, snooty. However, I see it as a woman who is, for some reason, painfully saw. She looks worn out, at the end of her rope. I don’t know why, but I know this is a woman on the verge of something, and I really want to discover what.
The final picture that I chose to analyze is the one of the “domestic sex kitten.” It’s a women caught in the art of seduction. Again, the camera is far away, symbolizing privacy and intimacy. The woman is dressed in a very ladylike manner, her body is taught, the only sensuality in the picture is contained in her face. I got the sense of a woman who is trying to exhibit herself in the best light for a man. I find myself wonder what their relationship is. Is she his mistress? New wife? Is it a one night stand? She appears confident, but with an undertone of “I better do this right.” Which, I believe, is something all women can relate to.