Cindy Sherman

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Cindy Sherman. The Centerfolds. 1981.

NARRATOR: Curator Eva Respini

EVA RESPINI: In this gallery you see all 12 photographs from the series known as The Centerfolds. They all measure two by four feet, which, at the time, was huge for photography. The scale really allows the viewer to be immersed in the space of the photograph.

Their horizontal format refers to the centerfolds in men’s erotic magazines. These women all seem in various states of emotion. Some seem like they're daydreaming, others seem terrified or angry. And they're never looking at the camera.

Here we have a female photographer who’s assuming both roles, of photographer and pin-up, which usually is a male and female dynamic. And here she's really reversed that.

NARRATOR: Cindy Sherman

CINDY SHERMAN: I wanted to fill this centerfold format, and the reclining figure allows you to do that. But I also wanted it to be something in the sort of feminist realm, you know, you open it and see a woman lying there, and you then look at it closer and suddenly realize, ‘Oops, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to invade this private moment.’ So I did want to make people feel uncomfortable.

EVA RESPINI: They were originally commissioned by Artforum as centerfolds for the magazine. But in fact, they were never published because the editor at the time felt that they would be misunderstood.