© Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman: Self-Portrait, 1989

After Image

Simryn Gill
, Ana Mendieta, Cindy Sherman,
Francesca Woodman

The Fruitmarket Gallery's 2003 Edinburgh International Festival exhibition presents photographs by Simryn Gill, Ana Mendieta, Cindy Sherman and Francesca Woodman. Curated by Glenn Scott Wright the exhibition brings together four female artists from three continents and working over four decades from the 1970s to the present day. The artists use photography as a medium and often their own bodies as the material for work rich in metaphor and metamorphosis. Their arresting images, many of which are shown for the first time in the UK, touch on issues ranging from self-definition to cultural belonging.

Simryn Gill constructs objects, collections and photographs that express ideas of "how to be in a place, of being an insider and outsider in many places at the same time". Her interest in what it means to feel simultaneously an insider and an outsider is here expressed in "Dalam", a series of 260 photographs taken in the living rooms of strangers across the Malaysian Peninsula, and "Vegetation", photographs showing native plants used as a "flawed disguise" in the landscapes of Australia, Singapore and Texas.

Ana Mendieta, who died in 1985, used her own body as the material and primary metaphor in her work, transforming it, camouflaging and concealing it. Enacting what the artist called a "thirst for being", a desire for fusion and integration, the photographs presented in this exhibition show Mendieta transforming herself into a man through the application of facial hair.

Cindy Sherman mimics and critiques a variety of clichéd ways of representing women. In this exhibition, black and white photographs from the artist's renowned Film Stills series of the late 1970s and early 1980s explore and challenge Hollywood packaging of femininity, while work from her "Historical Portraiture" series of the late 1980s and early 1990s present the artist in the style of old master painting. Photographs from her mid-1990s series "Masks" show her spectacularly disguised.

Francesca Woodman had a brief and tragic life during which she produced an extraordinarily sophisticated body of work before committing suicide at the age of 21. Her photographs are unearthly, often dream-like and disquieting as they chart the formation and transformation of an identity.

2 August - 27 September 2003
Hours: Daily Mon–Sun 11 am – 9.30 pm (last entry 9 pm)

The Fruitmarket Gallery
45 Market Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1DF
Telephone +44 131 225 2383
Fax +44 131 220 3130