Doll De/Construction

201416 photographs, c-print on aluminium DiBond, 40 x 40 cm each

This set of square-format photos plays with affectionate irony on several movements in modern art. The Soviet avant-garde invented Constructivism. The artists constructed interlacing pictorial spaces and objects, often emphasising the diagonal. Their works ranged from the abstract to the non-objective, but also featured costumes and stage sets. In Zurich in 1918, Sophie Taeuber developed constructivistic marionettes. The photographs by Florence Henri deconstructed space. Richard Paul Lohse, who took to painting squares, coined the term Constructive Art; the Zurich exponents of Concrete and Constructive Art avoided representational elements in their work altogether, keeping predominantly to geometrical compositions. Hans Bellmer’s surreal photographs show dolls – or to be more precise, parts of dolls. Many Surrealist works focus on the relationship between the human body and the psyche, and between woman and man, via images of dolls. Deconstructivism as an explicit visual principle has appeared only in architecture as yet; but from Hanna Höch to the present day, many (photo) collages, animation films, sculptures and paintings can be regarded as deconstructivist. In Doll De/Construction, two sales girls re-dress a male shop-window mannequin, which involves taking it apart – to their manifest delight. The photographs show this “sur-real” action in takes and compositional frames of a Constructivist to Constructive slant, while the doll is being “deconstructed”.