Filtering by Category: elsewhere

of the flesh: gestation station

Added on by Jourdan.

An odd pre-existing fascination with all things flesh magnetically drew me to the dolls. Their naked pinkness piled high in the Toynado detritus just begging to be touched, but in the subtlest and most pitiful of ways. Dolls are meant to be played with. They are mini fake humans designed for imaginative interactions. But the dolls I discovered had been hidden away from sight for quite some time. Their dismembered limbs gathering dust in the corner – a morbid mass grave for playthings of the past.

In such a place as Elsewhere, a living museum, a breathing organ of objects always in flux, nothing, no matter how beaten and broken, deserves to be hidden away. My project has been a joint attempt to enliven both the dolls and the place in which I’ve chosen to install them – formerly known as the hotel lobby – an underutilized light-filled area on the 2nd floor at the front of the building. This space will now function as both lounge and creative work area, a space for gestation and growth of all kinds.

One of the many reasons I am so drawn to the flesh as both material and metaphor in my work is because of its regenerative qualities and capabilities. It serves as protector and barrier from outside dangers, as well as our primary sense organ, allowing us to feel and respond to the world around us. In this project, I have endeavored to work and play with the doll parts, the imitation flesh, to enliven it so that it may mimic human flesh not only in form, but also in manner, fostering growth of new projects and ideas.

The dolls have said goodbye to their old lives as objects and playthings. Their individual identities have been dissolved in attempt to further a collective consciousness, a collaborative ascension that is equally weird, hopeful, playful, and macabre. As their parts rearrange and flow in unexpected formations, viewers are encouraged to explore with child-like curiosity and discovery.

furniture rehab

Added on by Jourdan.
The chairs that I wanted to use in my installation were pretty beat up when I found them. (too bad I don't have before shots) I'm always reluctant to sit in yucky chairs... who isn't? I wanted this space to be cozy and welcoming, which meant that I HAD to do something about the chairs. Here are my 2 solutions...
For this one I sewed up the holes with fleshy ribbons. I think they look sort of like fresh scars.
And I painted this one. I didn't know that was a possibility, but Meghan suggested it - she had never tried it, but had seen it done on Trading Spaces, ha. Before it was a VERY dingy grayish off-white muslin... yuck! Learn how to paint upholstery here.

what to do with the hairless heads...

Added on by Jourdan.
I've got a BUNCH of doll heads that I must incorporate into my project - however it is important to me that their identity be dissolved. They have already been scalped and their eyes have been gouged (sounds so violent, I know) so I'm trying to figure out what to do with what's left of their faces. I tried melting them... and the following 2 images are what resulted...

And this is what they look like all chopped up. If I decide to take this route I'm going to need lots of helpers... it takes forever!

a work in progress

Added on by Jourdan.

The installation is growing and morphing slowly as time goes by. I can't believe I only have one more week left! My favorite part so far is what you see in the image above - can you guess what it is? baby doll scalps turned inside out!!!

Below are some very basic progress shots. I've been terrible at documenting the process. This area with the foam padding is a window seat of sorts. Still very much a work in progress!

surrey ride

Added on by Jourdan.
This past weekend, 5 of us peddled to Sonic (1.5 miles away) on the elsewhere bicycle surrey! And I haven't been able to get this song out of my head ever since....

bath time

Added on by Jourdan.
thanks to Sammi Harthoorn (elsewhere documentarian) for these photos
Yesterday I started cleaning out my installation site. For the past few years it's served as miscellaneous storage, but I've come to change that. Many garbage bags were filled with hats upon hats upon hats (and moved to another temporary misc. storage space) and now I'm starting to formulate plans for the structure.

thanks to Elliott Montgomery for this photo
thanks to Ben Boyles for this photo
In preparation for my installation, I've begun bathing the baby dolls and all their parts. They were covered in yucky dust, so this will make them ready to be worked/played with!
the start of something?! 

follow all our elsewhere happenings HERE on tumblr!! 

getting started - a proposal of sorts

Added on by Jourdan.
This photo was taken for my profile on the Elsewhere website. I couldn't resist this mountain of dolls hidden away in the attic.  

Yesterday I met with the Elsewhere curators to discuss my project proposal... it goes a little something like this...

The dolls are lonely. They’ve been in the dark far too long. I’ve come to rescue them from the toynado (see below) detritus and give their dismembered limbs a reason to live, a way to live. After all, this is a “living” museum, isn’t it? It’s time to bring the fleshy fake mini humans back into our living space. To turn their peachy plastic skin into an organ of interaction and discovery.

In addition to doll limbs, I’d also like to incorporate the truncated arms and legs of the mannequins I’ve seen laying around. Like dolls, mannequins are human stand-ins, but rather than objects of play, they are instruments of display.  

I plan to build an immersive and interactive space/structure out of the doll and mannequin parts that will function as both playground and work station. Who says work and play can’t co-exist? The parts will come together to comprise a fleshy mass, an ambiguous super doll-thing that responds to human touch. Hinges and pulley systems will facilitate motion and interactions, causing parts to wiggle and rise when poked and pulled in just the right places. Seating and a desk-like surface will be integrated into into the design, to encourage playful banter and brainstorming sessions for collaborators of all sorts.

Flesh is the human body’s largest, toughest, most sensitive organ. By it and through it we experience and respond to our surroundings. Using the inanimate doll flesh, I will create a new kind of organ: one that fosters play and the gestation of big wild and crazy ideas, in which nothing is too absurd. Organ and incubator.

For my work, this project is an attempt to integrate my immersive 3-D environments and my 2-D collages. Seeing the doll/mannequin parts as collage elements, I plan to construct a space that might resemble one of my collages, come to life. The viewer is an actor in the real-life collage/construction, pulling, poking, and prodding at odd (yet compelling) orifices and protrusions, evocative of human form. 

Kim Holleman - Toynado - 2007 - 8' x 5' x 10'

wearing dolls

Added on by Jourdan.
Thinking about something along these lines (but much MUCH crazier) - dolls & mannequins are traditionally used for play and dress up - so what would it look like if the roles were inverted - if people were to wear the dolls - or play them (rather than WITH them). Something like a one-man band? Dolls are imitation people - lifeless figures. How might I bring them to life? Play them like an instrument, a tool, an organ, an organism... hmmmmmm

hans bellmer => asger carlsen

Added on by Jourdan.
After my first full day at Elsewhere (more on this kooky place soon), I'm starting to think about what I might like to work of during my 4 weeks here. Still not quite certain of where or how I'd like the work to function/live, but I know I want/need to work with mannequins and doll parts in some way shape or form. There are just SO many of them here it's irresistible. I've also got my eye on a box of ratty wigs. I'm thinking some sort of interactive 3-D collage (and by collage I mean sort of similar to the collages I've been doing recently). Hans Bellmer, of whom I am an enormous fan, immediately comes to mind when I think of mannequins turned sculpture... (though I actually prefer his drawings)

  Just now, as I was trolling through Bellmer images, I came across some photo work by Asger Carlsen, and all I can say is WHOA! His photo manipulations are wow wow wow wow...
Interview with Asger Carlsen from Glossom on Vimeo.