jeudi 24 janvier 2013

Plastic selves

dolls hand ring.
Me: don't move, i'm doing the focusing
Camille; do you know that snow is COLD?"

"Barbie's identify is at root indeterminate. We know what she does, we know what she looks, we know how she looks, we know what she appears to be; Ultimately, Barbie eludes us. Her personality is inchoate, even ethereal, her morals and values are more implicit than expressed or affirmed; her intimate life -her dreams, her passions, her abiding attachments -remains a mystery." Barbie culture Marie F. Rogers 

Barbie is the next door neighbour  whom we keep meaning to get to know better; she is a co-worker with whom we are friendly but not friends; Barbies represents the sort of interaction as all as the sot of selfhood ascendant in postindustrial societies with their commodity cultures. 

Barbie's is a body centred selfhood, increasingly shaped by technologies extending way beyond the plastic surgeon's office. She represents the plastic selfhood celebrated in mass advertising. her identity hovers between two cultures, the modern and the postmodern. 

thanks to her iconic status, Barbie can be used in add because everyone knows her

Barbie the icon thrives on ambiguity. whatever contradictions she contains, whatever mystery she manages to maintain, whatever inconsistencies she exhibits promote an appealing ambiguity in the name of Barbie's game, which more and more denizens of today's postindustrial worlds re are playing to their delight and frustration. Its ambiguities take shape as the boundaries between culture and nature, exhibiting the same fluidity as identity and selfhood. 

Because Barbie is  an iconic reference, Joselyne Grivaud has turned her into famous works of art.
The artist aimed to rectify the negative representation in modern media barbie and  portray the iconic doll in varied representation in order to appreciate concepts of both antiquated and modern beauty.

la gioconda'' by leonardo da vinci
Sylvia' by otto dix
'olympia' by edouard manet

vénus de milo' alexandros of antioch

girl with a pearl earring Vermeer

guy bourdin 

'le mépris' film by jean-luc Godard
'le violon d'ingres' by man ray

"l'evidence eternelle' by rene magritte 

marylin dyptic' by andy warhol

bust of nefertiti from 1345 BCE
"a single artefact can shed brilliant light on that dense tangle of ideas, values, and norms called a culture". Between attraction and repulsion, Barbie has a great deal to show us about who we are, who we want to be, who we fear we might become. 
Little sunshine of the barbie's mind

We can find barbie cool, fun silly, beautiful, disgusting, trashy or glamourous. 
Her nature of an icon is to brim with multiple meanings capable of attracting multiples types of individuals. An icon provides a point of recognition widely shared with other members of one"s society. it means, never having to say "Who's Barbie?" or "I never heard of her". Icons provide common ground. They let people experience commonality, amidst diversity, shared interests, amidst conflicting ones, participation in the same broad culture amidst many subcultures. 

In secular society like those of North America, New Zeland, Australia, and Western Europe, cultural icons like Barbie fill in the holes once stuffed with religious symbols like the crucifix or statues of saints. 

Barbie's arms cupcake 

In some people's mind and some heroical models cultural icons like Barbie represent the lowest common denominators of mass culture or a rich multifaceted character of cultural icons. No icon represents only one dimension or axis of a culture. Instead, icons become such because of their versatility, thick folds, of meanings, adaptability to diverse individuals needs or interests, ultimate ambiguity, and open-ended nature. At one and and the same time it evokes commonality and difference. it offers a shared point of reference for society's members while adapting itself to the cultural differences built among them. 

Pamela Robertson "Like Barbie, Madonna sells because like Mattel she continuously updates the model, making her former selves obsolete. It is not enough to own a Barbie doll, one must own the latest Barbie. "Madonna is whoever she chooses to be." Madonna engages in "image scavenging…creating identities through a gleeful thievery of appearances. "saint, saviour, sinner, siren, slut, her images support no cause with any consistency, just as Barbie's images preclude such support. 

I must be on of the only "adult" who has barbie in her room, but when friends of my age are coming over, they can't help touching and playing with them. When he came, my friend Simon create an installation with all my barbie to make me a surpass when I came back.

"There is a note left too from the barbies....they can communicate with you. I am crazy, sitting there with the barbies, trying to understand each ones own narrative to why they are in this situation, about to go through barbie hell being cut up by you and stitched to some item of clothing. We gave them names. And then yes after this photo we took the clothes off Ken and put them on a barbie. Ken has the power though in this picture, he keeps those women in order. My favourite one is the YOGA barbie who is doing the splits across all the others. She wants to be in the spotlight, an international superstar. Also please note the one who only has half a body is being supported by the one sitting to the left of it. She has been through a really hard time and needs "emotional" support from her friends. I really want to do a project with barbies now, once you start to really look at them, the mind does magical things." 
I understand that barbie inspires photographes, barbie is so photogenic always smiling, always good on picture, is easy to have some good picture of her…

Mariel clayton, the doll photographer with a subversive sense of humour is depicting the doll as an aggressor of a number of gory scenarios.

Complemented with tongue-in-cheek titles, the outlandishly gruesome images often include ken, barbie's on-and-off-again boyfriend, in the unfortunate position of victim:
decapitated with a box of chocolate in hand, hung upside down and drained of his blood, scrubbing the floor with a sponge while naked on a leash, and many other unlucky roles. 

In this pink world where everything is supposed to be perfect..too perfect…things obviously go wrong at some point... 

The mannequin, who is synonymous to all others and, as a depiction of humankind, denies the possibility of individuality and spiritual depth. Furthermore, mannequins are “already stamped with the sign of DEATH” as Kantor says, acting as a stony reminder of human corporeality, and enabling artists to explore their metaphoric doubt in “autonomous subjects…

Turn the glamourous into horror

Barbie games plays on  ambiguity on animate/inanimate, as the same time it's just a piece a plastic, you can do whatever you want with them, they don't have free will, any control of their image or their body but at the same time sometimes they look like so real and human.

Barbie lost her shoes in the snow...

 Barbie games have something theatrical, you change your voice, you try to represent situation taken from reality.  Dolls and action figures are normally associated with play, but their appeal to children is the ability to enact fantastical scenarios by proxy. Artists are able to do the same. 
Barbie snow man, Barbie also enjoy playing in the snow, and snow man has a princess headpiece.

To collect those barbie shoes in  a charity shops I had to fight with a mother who was getting shoes for her little girl we had to do some trading and some bargain "if I get you the black one would you get me the pink one? oh you know my daughter loves pink"…
-fair enough. 

Barbie has innumerable accessories and props, Erving Goffman call it an " identity kit". 
Barbie represents the sort of contemporary selfhood some see as embattled and other see as liberated. Here is mutable, protean, impression-managing.; context-bound self whose demeanour shifts fro situation to situation and role to role. 

She is an icon of improvisation. Barbie perpetually performs so as to become whatever the situation demands - a venturesome camper, a capable babysitter, a fashionable shopper, a graceful skater, a competent paediatrician, and on and on. 
Camille: "Whaouh je kiff les bottes de tepu! Barbie à trop des chouettes chaussures, je suis trop jalouse"

I went to see the exhibition "The Vivisector" at Sprüth Magers gallery.  The Vivisector, refers to the act of cutting open a living organism for physiological or pathological investigation, the works refer to society’s obsession with the perfect body and how this is a hollow construct. Although these works seem a lot more innocent, Bartlett’s staged arrangements juxtapose childish poses with seductive shapes. His use of dolls is also reminiscent of the Surrealists fascination with automata, due to the uncanny feeling these animate and inanimate dolls evoke. Dolls and dummies are  masked and manipulated to reasemble living beings. 

Morton Bartlett’s half life-size doll greets visitors like an oversized Barbie. Yet on closer inspection she is not ageing well with her skin flaking off, bursting the illusion of plastic perfection.Cindy Sherman’s Broken dolls p's picture highlights the current trend of people who feel their own bodies to be inadequate and in need of enhancement, and how this can often lead to disfigured and grotesque outcomes.

Sherman dismembers and reconstruct the mutilated dolls. creating an alternating between expressions of childlike innoncene and the portrayal of seductive poses, implicating the dolls in the role of fetishes or substitutes for unknowable desires. The images of dolls on display in the exhibition underline the Surrealist fascination with automat, due in particular to the uncanny dread produced by their dubious animate/inanimate status. 

Sherman’s black and white images are quite bizarre with Frankenstein-like creations on display. This is a dark and surreal exhibition that takes a critical eye to the societal norm of cosmetic surgery and highlights its shortcomings. Sherman’s mannequins are imitations of human beings, standing in to represent human life. Thus, the “idea of the individual is countered by a standardized replica of the body”
To make my jewels I have to destroy barbie. Sometimes I feel like an evil scientist  in a eugenics bad science fiction movie who is taking limbs and organs to barbie in order to create the perfect creature. Barbie become grotesque trunk-woman that I exploit and throw away when they have no limbs anymore to offer to me. 

but i'm also taking care of Barbie putting some nail-polish on her have to be really precise.

Barbie "torture" commonly involves tearing her head off, ripping her limbs out, and burning her hair off. "Barbie is a stupid airhead, cheerleader-type of girl. If she were real she'd be a bitch!!! She would act like all that and be a preppie. i've pulled the heads off my sister's Barbies".

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