Horror collected in a catalogue

Posted to General, Exhibitions, Publikasjoner on 17.07.2013, 12:16 by Renate with

«The image is both disquieting and fascinating. It seems to touch something essential, even fundamental, that I am incapable of formulating.»

The paragraph is taken from Karl Ove Knausgård's text «The Pig-Human», which is published in the catalogue created to the exhibition 'Cindy Sherman - Untitled Horrors'. The catalogue includes texts written by Miranda July, Lars Norén, Sara Stridsberg, Sjón, Sibylle Berg and Karl Ove Knausgård, and an early piece by Kathy Acker. Using literary texts instead of theoretical makes the catalogue an additional and equally important dimension of the exhibition.

«Horror: terror, fear, and disgust, but with elements from life’s comical side and play on grotesque clichés», writes Daniel Birnbaum, Ann-Sofi Noring and Gunnar B. Kvaran in the catalogue’s preface. By inviting famous contemporary writers, playwrights and artists, that like Cindy Sherman has touched disturbing aspects of life, the texts explores and elaborates her art.

«That's what we do to anything alien, we try to describe it, conquer it, tame it. »
(From Sara Stridsberg: I Robbed the Woods: Notes on Cindy Sherman)

Cindy Sherman disrupts our perception of reality. With masks and theatrical representations she challenges our judgments on ourselves, the many characters we take in life, how we see others and how we perceive stereotypes.

«Everything in life follows a code of some sort. Unspoken agreements, rules that make life easier because routine gives you a certain amount of freedom.  People like them always wore the same knitwear, regardless of their mood. There sat dentists and real estate developers, board members and bosses of semiconductor factories with their spouses, who did interior design or owned a dental hygiene clinics, eating and talking all the while exclusively about what they had already eaten over the course of their lives. »
(From Sibylle Berg: Food - Untitled # 237)

Sherman’s images are often based on representations of female roles, as they are expressed in advertising and film. The motives may seem familiar, with scenes that are threatening, sad, heart breaking or melodramatic, and it is easy to add a story to the moments she captures. This is also what the catalogue texts do. They provide a personal and sensual impression, and become great literary extensions of Sherman's picture universe.

«MARCO: Did they like, Photoshop? They put her in different poses…
MIRANDA: They are all before Photoshop. This is from like 1978, you know?
TONY: She didn’t really get hit, right? 
MIRANDA: She didn’t really get hit. »
(From Miranda July: Undisguised Woman)

The catalogue is published in cooperation with art publishers Hatje Cantz Verlag and is richly illustrated with photos from the exhibition. It has been very positively highlighted in several reviews of the exhibition. The texts will maybe make you wonder about Sherman’s images in a different way, or notice things you would not otherwise have seen. 

The catalogue is available in both Norwegian and English. It can be purchased in the museum shop or in our online shop. The price is NOK 390.

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