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Figures of Projection in Contemporary Art

Dolls – Figures of Projection in Contemporary Art

Dolls belong to the oldest objects of utility and have been around since the dawn of civilization. They appear in nearly all cultures as toys, though they can also be encountered as idols or representation of a deity or can play a central role in religious ceremonies and rituals. They are lifeless models and replica of the human body and therefore capable to manipulation. Dolls are images of human beings, created as human-like bodies, who show the reflection and projection of phantasies. These images enable the deeper insight in our self and deal with our perception.

In the 1920th and 30th the surrealists already favoured dolls as objects of projection. In contemporary art the doll appears as object of our relation to society, it shows how we perceive body images in media and daily life and it tests credibility and reality. Technological advances in medicine, science and media have altered our concepts of the human body and reopened the ethic discussion of blessing or curse of cloning and manipulating humans and their gene.

All exhibits in the show raise issues of self-concept in handling perception and alteration of our human being. The title shows the connection between them all: In the focus of the exhibition are dolls and human-like artefacts in surreal und fanciful exuberance. The wide scope includes exposed artistic positions but makes no claim to be complete. Topic is the absolute meaninglessness of stylized body ideals as well as the emotional distressing moments of bizarre and fantastic combinations. The doll morphs from harmless toy into an incarnation of insurmountable obsession. In the mirror of our daily reality the human being is shown as estranged, objectified, transformed and broken in a shocked, sometimes satirical, sometimes playful way.

Participating Artists

Eva Aeppli (Switzerland)
Kirsty Boyle (Australia)
Nathalie Djurberg (Sweden)
Manfred Erjautz (Austria)
Lynn Hershman (USA)
Kristof Kintera (Tschechien)
Michel Nédjar (France)
Yves Netzhammer (Switzerland)
Dennis Oppenheim (USA)
Tony Oursler (USA)
Anne Schneider (Austria)
Cindy Sherman (USA)
Karen Yasinsky (USA)

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