What’s she did before she won: dress up and photograph herself as other people, often women fulfilling cultural roles. Allow me to say, I like her body of work in general. She creates series of portraits as I described, as well as ‘film stills’ that aren’t film stills so much as portraits she shoots of herself. Sherman has dabbled in other projects as well, like video direction, but her art is mainly clever identity and gender politics photographs that are well-shot and fascinating. All the more intriguing when you recognize her face behind the makeup and costume.
Yet not endlessly intriguing. After years of portraits of herself as others, Sherman hasn’t really strayed, much less innovated. Some jokes aren’t as funny the tenth time around, some shticks get old. Sherman, who constantly reinvents herself in her work, has failed to reinvent the work itself. It makes me wonder if she didn’t merely happen on a successful trick of playing dress up and now can’t come up with (or is afraid to try) something new.