the THIRTIES

Photography

In a store near you

Dolls, androids and statues are imitations; a mannequin is a fake.

Parrot

The doll proper

In a boutique on the rue Legendre...a whole series of female busts without heads or legs, with curtain hooks in the place of arms, and a percaline skin of arbitrary hue -  bean brown, glaring pink, hard black - are lined up like a row of onions, impaled on rods, or set on tables...The sight of this ebb tide of bosoms...puts one vaguely in mind of the vaults of the Louvre...How superior to the dreary statues of Venus they are...with their lifelike comportment: how much more provocative with their padded busts which, exposed there, bring on a train of reveries inspired by ephebic nipples and bruised bubs.

Huysmans ex Benjamin

It had begun at Christmas and the gift of dolls. The big, the special, the loving gift was always a big, blue-eyed Baby Doll. From the clucking sounds of adults I knew that the doll represented my fondest wish. I was bemused by the thing itself, and the way it looked. What was I supposed to do with it ? Pretend I was its mother ?... When I took it to bed its hard unyielding limbs resisted my flesh - the tapered fingertips on those dimpled hands scratched. If in my sleep I turned, the bone-cold head collided with my own. It was a most uncomfortable, patently aggressive sleeping companion. I had only one desire :  to dismember it. To see what it was made of, to discover the dearness. to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me. Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs - all the world  had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired,  pink-skinned  doll was what every girl treasured.

Toni Morrison

Surrealism 1  - Street of mannequins

... broken into fragments, endowed with artificial joints and buffed to a shiny smoothness, the mannequin exists primarily to make people dream. In the context of Surrealism, the mannequin’s impossible resemblance to the human body becomes the object of anxieties, subliminal longings and erotic obsessions of the male artist. The artificial woman is the ideal woman both in her remoteness and her availability, in the unperturbed distance she maintains from any artistic or erotic manipulation.

Lehmann

Surrealism 2  - More mannequins and other simulacra

Atget

Boubat

Model

Heidersberger

Atget is included here - sympathetically

Blumenfeld

Rohde

Horna

Horvat

Solomon

Bing

Just as the automaton symbolizes for Descartes and other mechanical philosophers, the lawfulness of nature and method, so, for Caillois and the Surrealists, the doll symbolizes the autonomy and ”objectivity” of unconscious processes (including chance).

Tiffany

Man Ray

Man Ray

Suquet

Oppenheim

Seligman

Teige

Dali

Strysky

Brassai/Fini

Surrealism 3 - Bellmer

Construction as dismemberment.  Krauss

Penrose

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