14
Jan 04

I LOVE YOU, YOU BIG DUMMY

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 475 views

I LOVE YOU, YOU BIG DUMMY

Val’rie Belin’s photographs often seem to be about death, such as the empty dresses in coffin-like boxes, Miss Haversham’s ghost gone AWOL. But what if death is replaced with a simple lack of life? The untitled series of pictures that forms the core of the exhibition at San Sebasti’n’s Koldo Mitxelena Centre (celebrating its 10th anniversary – Muggins here remembers it opening) at first appears to show the head and shoulders of expertly made-up, passive and self-possessed women. They are attractive, drawing you closer, close enough for your reflection to appear in the glass. Unlike the women, you look podgy and unkempt. Perhaps life is bad. You become uneasy as it dawns on you that these might not be real women. They look a bit plastic. But at this scale they are disquietingly realistic. A glance at the brochure reveals that they are in fact shop window dummies individually cast from real women, a Lady Penelope fetishist’s dream gone sadly down the plughole.

Apparently this kind of thing is called HYPERREALISM and is part of something called POSTMODERNISM. Geezaesthetics purists may prefer to ignore this and INSTEAD simply ask themselves WHICH ONE DO YOU FANCY?

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