Most well-known for photographs that feature the artist as her own model playing out media-influenced female stereotypes in a range of personas and environments, Sherman shoots alone in her studio, serving as director, photographer, make-up artist, hair stylist, and subject. Her decades-long practice of performing portraiture, has produced many of contemporary art’s most iconic and influential images. For the presentation at Serralves, the Museum galleries will be transformed specially to receive this ambitious exhibition, creating a theatrical set for the storyboard written by the artist’s photographs. It will also include new work, specifically conceived for the Serralves Museum: a large photographic mural, which give an additional uniqueness to the display.
In the exhibition, these series are presented with no chronological order, but rather building a narrative. Sherman’s individual compositions and narratives refer to a complete and complex lexicon of female identities: the early works full of visible emotions and in later works emotions gradually excluded. The works are not self-portraits, they are representations perfected by the distance of the camera or lens through which they are captured, or as Rosalind Krauss defines it, they are “a copy without the original”.