Doll Parts

Is the doll more real than her creator?: La Poupée (1938).
Photo Courtesy of Thea Westreich Art Advisory Services, NY; Ubu Gallery, NY; and Galerie Berinson, Berlin
Is the doll more real than her creator?: La Poupée (1938).


Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer
International Center of Photography
Through June 10

Bellmer's doll still casts her shadow over Cindy Sherman's hermaphroditic grotesqueries, Robert Gober's hairy wax legs, Kim Dingle's naughty little girls, and Tony Oursler's video puppets, among many others. But these artists celebrate the neuroses in a world where dime-store analysts proliferate. The fraught atmosphere in which the doll performed her diabolical magic invests Bellmer's images with a desperate love and talismanic loneliness. In a back corner at ICP, behind a thin curtain, lies a curiously forlorn little figure. The doll's half-assembled parts seem strangely inert beside Bellmer's vividly animated photographs. They still await their maker's hand and eye to inspire them with life.

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