Role Models : Feminine Identity in Contemporary American Photography

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-01-30
  • Publisher: Scala Books

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Supplemental Materials

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In today's image-conscious world, photography is one of the most powerful mediators of our sense of self. Exploring the ways in which female identity is constructed and mediated through the art of photography is the central theme of this fascinating, fully illustrated book, published to accompany a major exhibition at the National Musuem of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. The exhibition will feature the work of two generations of artists whose portraiture, selfportraiture and narrative photographs have indelibly inflected our understanding of gender and identity over the past 25 years. More specifically it will focus on how role models and role-playing have been central to the art, meaning and social function of contemporary photography. The exhibition will begin with the 1980s, a time when many American women artists and photographers such as Cindy Sherman realised that they could be both the creator and the subject of their work, while others such as Nan Goldin sought to depict the varied roles that girls try on in their struggle to find an identity that fits. Role Models will also consider how, by the mid-1990s, a generation of photographers including Anna Gaskell, Catherine Opie and Nikki S. Lee had become exemplars for a new cadre of younger women artists by collapsing old boundaries between postmodern and documentary photography, establishing new post-feminist sensibilities and evolving more fluid concepts of female identity.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 7
Enigmatic Spectacle: Key Strategies in Contemporary Staged Photographyp. 11
Crosscurrents: Models, Migrations, and Modernismsp. 23
Fashioning Feminine Identity in Contemporary American Photographyp. 35
Platesp. 45
Artist Biographiesp. 129
Exhibition Checklistp. 132
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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