Publisher: MIT press & the Grey Art Gallery, New York Universit
Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, and Cindy Sherman were born in different countries, in different generations; Cahun in France in 1894, Deren in Russia in 1917, and Sherman in the United States in 1954. Yet they share a deeply theatrical obsession that shatters any notion of a unified self. All three try out identities from different social classes and geographic environments, extend their temporal range into the past and future, and transform themselves into heroes and villains, mythological creatures, and sex goddesses. The premise of Inverted Odysseys is that this expanded concept of the self; this playful urge to "try on" other roles-is more than a feminist or psychological issue. It is central to our global culture, to our definition of human identity in a world where the individual exists in a multicultural and multitemporal environment. This book is an "odyssey" through historical, theoretical, critical, and literary perspectives on the three artists viewed in the context of these issues.