Lectures and Talks

Panel Conversation: Perspectives on Cindy Sherman

Sat Feb 15 3 PM

Room 4East

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From left to right: Mel Kobayashi, Carol Sawyer and Dr. Erin Silver


with Mel Kobayashi, Carol Sawyer and Erin Silver

Free for Members or with Gallery admission. Registration Required.

Artists from a wide array of disciplines continue to find layers of meaning and complexity in the work of Cindy Sherman. Join us for a lively discussion about Sherman’s enduring impact on photography and art with a panel comprised of fashion-model-turned-influencer Mel Kobayashi, artist Carol Sawyer and scholar Erin Silver.

Moderated by Public Programs Coordinator Stephanie Bokenfohr, panelists will discuss Sherman’s practice in relation to concepts of performance, gender, fashion, aging, social media, sharing and identity.


Carol Sawyer is a visual artist and singer who works with photography, installation, video and improvised music. Since the early 1990s, her visual art practice has been concerned with the connections between photography and fiction, performance, memory and history. Her ongoing project The Natalie Brettschneider Archive was exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2017. A monograph about this work is being produced by the Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Koffler Gallery (Toronto), and will be launched in conjunction with an exhibition at the Koffler opening in April 2020. Performing regularly in improvised music contexts, Sawyer is currently working on an LP of Brettschneider’s repertoire, to be released in summer 2020. Her work is represented by Republic Gallery, Vancouver.

Dr. Erin Silver is a historian of queer and feminist art, visual culture, performance and activism. She is an Assistant Professor of Art History at The University of British Columbia and the co-editor (with Amelia Jones) of Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories (Manchester University Press, 2016). She is also the author of the forthcoming Suzy Lake: Life & Work (Art Canada Institute, 2020). Silver’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Canadian Art, MomusPerformance MattersPrefix Photo and in the volume Narratives Unfolding: National Art Histories in an Unfinished World (edited by Martha Langford, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017), among others. She has curated exhibitions at the FOFA Gallery (Montreal), the Doris McCarthy Gallery (Scarborough) and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (Toronto). She is a member of the editorial team of RACAR and sits on the editorial advisory committee of C Magazine.

Mel Kobayashi is the artist and author behind the blog, Instagram account and YouTube channel Bag and a Beret, where she toys with issues of identity through style, especially in relation to aging and breaking rules. With her alter ego Miz Bagg, Kobayashi created a satirical fashion e-zine, VOGOFF, for activist and armchair fashionistas over the age of 40. In 2012, she also launched the Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show, in which 34 women globally contributed artwork to a skirt to celebrate freedom of expression. In her mid-50s, Kobayashi began working as an actor/model in commercials, and she often appears in mainstream media worldwide as a Top 10 over-50 Instagrammer and style provocateur. She is also a motivational speaker on style and aging. Kobayashi grew up in Ontario and has a BA in communications from SFU. After living in Tokyo for several years, she now resides in Vancouver.