Created in 1975, A Play of Selves is a visual tale of a young woman overwhelmed by various alter- egos working at odds within her and her final conquering of self-doubt. Acted out with 16 separate characters, the 71 photgraphic assemblages mark Sherman’s earliest explorations of her ground- breaking use of herself as the subject in staged photographs.
Sherman originally shot hundreds of photographs of herself costumed as the various characters in dozens of poses. After cutting out the individual images from black and white prints, she used an elaborately organized, hand-written script to organize the images into the 4 act “play”. The piece was first shown at the artist-run, alternative space, Hallwalls, in Buffalo, NY in 1975 where Sherman was a founding member as a student at Buffalo State College.