When making his prints, animations, and light boxes, Ezawa looks for source images on the Internet, manipulates them, and distills them to their essentials. Untitled Film Still belongs to a series of works for which Ezawa appropriated several famous photographs in order to deal with the questions of why some images become icons and how one looks at and interprets imagery. It is a playful appropriation of Cindy Sherman’s photograph with the same title from 1978. Sherman’s seminal Untitled Film Still series was in fact single photographs in which a female character (always played by Sherman herself) is trapped in the image without any explanation of the scenery or narrative action. Sherman’s characters represent post-World War II mass-media feminine stereotypes, which are, despite their falseness, still largely present in the collective consciousness. Ezawa’s version underscores the artificial nature of the image and allows it to be read in new ways. 2005
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design Museum; appropriation; post-World War II; mass-media; stereotypes; artificiality; Cindy Sherman; iconography
RISD Museum and Brown, A. Will, "Untitled Film Still" (2014). Channel. 37.