Dal manichino alla real doll. La bambola nella visualità contemporanea

Intrecci d'arte. 2014;3(3) DOI 10.6092/issn.2240-7251/4584


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Intrecci d'arte

ISSN: 2240-7251 (Print)

Publisher: University of Bologna

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts: Arts in general

Country of publisher: Italy

Language of fulltext: Italian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Alessandra Olivares


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The doll, in its various manifestations of substitute of real woman for at least forty years is a subject at the heart of poetics of many artists that through it convey stereotypes, ideas and experiences related to the feminine universe. And yet over time is profoundly changed the way of understanding and representing this object, that is one of the most discussed and controversial of our time for the disturbing familiarity that does not leave indifferent those who observe. Particularly in the case of real dolls or sex dolls, so likely and cured in the minimums details to seem real. Disregarding the controversies and aspects related to the questionable erotic business that these dolls are part, what cannot be ignored is that more and more often they are at the heart of art projects that seem real psychological studies around the emotional sphere of the individual.There are many artists who through a skilful use of the photographic instrument, combined with set designed down to the smallest details, accessories and poses, committed their search around the possibility to transpire emotions from a subject who notoriously cannot try them.But why is it so important to provide with a soul these inanimate bodies? Why do we so much need of these surrogates to bring out human feelings and emotions?After excessive and obsessive use of the poetics of the doll in the Surrealism, starting in the 1970s, this subject is recovered and used as a kind of mirror to reflect the process of manipulation and reification of a body increasingly artificial, and advances in plastic surgery and genetic engineering as the crucial stages of the construction of a man-machine-thing. Among the exponents of this art, notoriously defined post-human, there are the pioneer Helmut Newton, followed by Cindy Sherman, Nick Knight, Charles Ray and Vanessa Beecroft, just to name a few.What however that is investigated is the inversion of march that we see in many artists. In the poetics of Laurie Simmons, Beatrice Morabito, Azusa Itagaki and Elena Dorfman, emerge the urgency to recover humanity and vulnerability, peculiar features that mass-medial messages have for long time tried to cancel in the name of depersonalizing ratification and culture of success at all costs. That’s how the doll from the classic stereotype of women-object, of a body increasingly manipulated and artificial, becomes a subject to love and care for or to share real experiences and emotions. Reflection of a society suffering from autism and narcissism?