Phallo-Power-Babble | Letters | Chicago Reader

Phallo-Power-Babble 

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letinsky.qxd

Dear editor,

Let us see if we have this right: Fred Camper's problem with Cindy Sherman (Photography, April 24)--undisputedly one of the most influential American visual artists of the last 20 years, certainly the most influential female artist of this period--is that she wears expensive designer shirts and says she likes trashy movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? And that her "film stills" actually perpetuate a victimizing gaze they claim to parody because they are technically less masterful than the classic films of Hitchcock, Cukor, etc? And that her "postmodern" work fails to "assert an original presence"--"classic" male phallo-power-babble, anyone? Evidently, Mr. Camper is simply out of his league with Ms. Sherman and her simple yet elusive work. At least his argument provides a useful exercise in the sort of cocky not-getting-it that Sherman's work subtly exposes.

Laura Letinsky

Eric Schwab

W. Palmer

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