cindy sherman untitled horrors

identity crisis?

Who am I now and what do I like, what do I want, what do I do?? These are the kind of questions that come up a lot when you move to another country, lose a job, get to another age or your kids do and you wonder what's next. Sure nothing stays the same. But all those questions had me spiralling around in a bit of a whirlpool, till this week. I went to the Kunsthaus Zurich.

I got an invite to see Cindy Sherman (and write about it) and there were wigs! Sherman’s famous for taking the ultimate selfies. But they are none of them her and yet all of them are. There's aging doyennes, clowns, murder victims, fifties movie stars and old master's oil paintings. Critics call social commentary, gender roles and confrontation, but she calls everything – ‘untitled’. Make up your own stories. I was fascinated and went looking for the ‘real’ her (on youtube). And yes she loves to dress up and to shock but what caught me was her telling the story of the photo album she made as a child with every picture of her circled and arrowed ‘this is me’. 

I haven’t got any of my old photo albums with me here, they’re all in a box, in a shed, in the country, in Australia, but I remember them. Ok, we’ve all got (well us old enough to) those mad hair eighties ones and I’ve got plenty bleached hair surfie ones, I didn’t quite catch the dark arty ones but there’s the flat hat graduating ones, not to mention the best dress for the party ones and the sunburned knee skinned kid ones. We evolve.

Back through those earlier years almost all our parties were ‘fancy dress’ (read ‘costume’) and you got to turn up as all kinds of characters. It was fun to try out someone wildly opposite to your regular self and it was always fascinating to see the alter egos emerge. There were dangers though, like the time I went with a friend as Neil andVivian and she had to shout the whole time and I got so low I had to leave and come back as someone else ;)

At the exhibition there was a photo booth and all the wigs and gigs to play. Suddenly everything was fun again and it didn’t matter what you chose, cause you could do it all differently the next time.  

Jung says we are full of archetypal selves. Hiro says we are a world within ourselves and we all add up to whole. Years ago I did Julia Cameron’s fun game of searching out our secret selves in A Vein of Gold. I loved finding my red lipped vespa vamp who likes a bit of polka dot. Today pulling out my new white Dr Martin boots (ok shoes) is bringing back home to an old bold stomping in the world girl.

It's time to play, to wear what feels like fun, or, what ever I want to feel.

These guys are doing it too - I'm joining in =  #thewearyourjoyproject  
Pull out your true colours – the many of them - who've you got in your closet? 
Tell me! Let's play . . .

Big love