Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff & Frank Montero – 1000 Faces / 0 Faces / One Face
Publisher: La Fabrica, 2011
Hardcover, 156 pages, English
New in seal
1000 Faces/0 Faces/One Face unites two great contemporary artists who have interrogated constructions of identity with an entirely unknown late-nineteenth-century photographer named Frank Montero. Its thesis runs as follows: in Cindy Sherman’s manipulations of generic casting we encounter a face that produces all faces; in Thomas Ruff’s proliferating but depersonalized portraits, we all encounter all faces reduced to a zero degree; and in Montero, we encounter a face that plays the role of itself, throughout the inscriptions wrought upon it by time. Montero’s work, seemingly made without artistic intentions or ambitions, and published here for the first time, provides a sort of Rembrandt-like counterpoint to the identity arguments made by Ruff and Sherman’s work, and alongside them makes for the most fascinating panorama of the absolute constructedness of the photographic portrait and the eerie artifice of identity itself.