Arts & Culture

Cindy Sherman and Jewish Stereotypes

Looking at the MoMA’s Cindy Sherman retrospective through a Jewish lens Read More

By / March 9, 2012

In Tablet Magazine, Rachel Shukert visits the Cindy Sherman retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and explores the link between Sherman’s work and Jewish stereotypes:

So, I was interested, on this visit, to find myself examining Sherman’s photographs through a Jewish lens, if you’ll pardon the pun. (Was that even a pun?) Jewish culture has always been rife with precisely the type of archetypes Sherman has interrogated; not for nothing does Tevye introduce the villagers of Anatevka each as their own special “types.” From the shtetl we inherited the yenta, the yeshiva bucher, the gonif, the shtarker; the postwar era gave American Jews self-hating punchlines like the JAP and the nebbish; the Soviet Union had its “Rabinovich” jokes and Israel its brash “muscle Jews” who know how to clean a gun and never saw a line they didn’t want to push to the front of. (I even got elbowed out of the way by a couple of them while I was waiting in line to get into the exhibit.)

Type-Faces [Tablet Magazine]

(Image credit: Artnet)