To What Extent is Cindy Sherman’s Blackface as Problematic as Bell Hooks’ Claims?
Cindy Sherman’s Real Implication in Blackface
These authors contributed equally.
- 10.2991/assehr.k.211120.116How to use a DOI?
- Postmodernist Art; Cindy Sherman; bell hooks; Yearning; Blackface; Photography
Cindy Sherman, an influential artist in the late 20th century, aims to reconstruct women’s identity by playing their roles. Some of her photos named Blackface, belonging to a series titled Bus Riders, is well-known. In this series of pictures, Sherman imitates herself as a black woman by making herself up completely black, which is considered racial discrimination by many people. In this case, we try to delve into the matter and analyze some photos in the Blackface, using bell hooks’ theory of yearning to interpret it. By selecting several photos from this series, the relationship between the fashion of the 1970s and the costumes in this series is found; the main purpose of creating it is figured out. The artwork’s meaning and influence are examined from different aspects. Through these steps of probing it, comprehensive aspects are provided to interpret these photographs and find reasons for potential understanding from other artists of the Blackface — the “otherness” and the “difference” can be viewed as a behaviour of a racist. However, we can also infer that Sherman’s original sake might be getting public attention on the existence of black women. In other words, she uses an unusual way — both on the clothing and makeup — to express the unique identity of black women, whereas whether this method is acceptable and understandable by all the audiences is still doubtful.
- © 2021 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press SARL.
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Cite this article
TY - CONF AU - Xiaoyang Gong AU - Leyao Qian AU - Zihan Qin AU - Xin Weng PY - 2021 DA - 2021/11/29 TI - To What Extent is Cindy Sherman’s Blackface as Problematic as Bell Hooks’ Claims? BT - Proceedings of the 2021 3rd International Conference on Literature, Art and Human Development (ICLAHD 2021) PB - Atlantis Press SP - 628 EP - 633 SN - 2352-5398 UR - https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.211120.116 DO - 10.2991/assehr.k.211120.116 ID - Gong2021 ER -