Nathania Rubin, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Karen Yasinsky
Mireille Mosler, Ltd. is pleased to announce Surveillance from the Doll House, an exhibition that challenges notions of identity and the inanimate through a convergence of drawing and puppet animation by five consummate female artists.
Each distinctive and sundry video brings variations on the inanimate, corporal, or theoretical assumption of identity in a world of shifting gender roles. While the show will include artists at different stages of their careers as well as different aesthetic and conceptual approaches, all works will share a fascination in the tactile, emotional or political manipulation of their characters.
In Cindy Sherman’s Doll Clothes (1975), a paper doll comes to life, trying on outfits as proxy alter-egos before being stripped and put away by her owner. Stuck in a two-dimensional reality and ultimately subject to the desires of another, the doll is portrayed equally through her rebellion and vanity, which seasons the social criticism with healthy doses of humor and play.
Karen Yasinsky’s Still Life With Cows (2002) is a non-linear fable in which a paralyzed hand-made doll and her companion struggle against the stillness that has enveloped their lives. Interrupted only by the surreal appearance of an oversized, mythic donkey, the characters move from a relaxing Wyoming pastor to a stifling shag-rugged interior, suggesting the complexities at work in an existence defined by monotony.
Evolved from her walking object photo series, Laurie Simmons’ The Music of Regret (2006) castes ventriloquist dummies and heavily costumed dancers in a romantic, musical saga that perverts and converts the quintessence of the genre. When the female dummy is brought to life (transformed into a human played by Meryl Streep,) the resurrection frustrates the characters’ desire for recognition, communication and individuality.
Through a discussion between Sigmund Freud and Anne Frank, Nathania Rubin’s delicate, quivering, drawing-animation, My Girl: A Case Study (2009), explores the existential anxieties of a young woman in contemporary times. The characters serve as figurative representations of the artist’s personal longings as well as archetypical stand-ins for our interconnected souls.
Whether dressed to play a part or a plaything to address, the dummies, dolls, puppets, and personalities of Surveillance from the Doll House represent a mysterious combination of vitality and immobility. With extreme sympathy, intrepid frankness, and a cunning sense of narrative, issues as well as objects, are daringly brought to life.