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"Dolls, Dummies, Automatons"
1999-07-24 until 1999-10-07
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Dusseldorf, , DE Germany

The avant-garde artists of the first half of this century invented a whole diversity of anthropomorphous, synthetic figures and often mirrored themselves in technoid doppelgängers. Shopwindow and tailors dummies, lay figures and marionettes, automatons and robots, false limbs and anatomy models, wax busts and wig blocks populated their artistic worlds of fantasy. They fascinated painters, sculptors and photographers alike, for they existed in a kind of limbo between deceptive trueness to life and extreme artificiality.

Whilst dolls, dummies and other synthetic figures are purpose-built, lifeless artefacts, they nonetheless simulate live human beings and are able, in a most uncanny way, to develop a dynamic all their own. It is precisely this ambiguity which has fired the imagination of so many artists of our century: destructively critical, mystical and magical, sexual and erotic — epithets that testify to the fetish character of these artificial human substitutes.


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