Untitled by Hans Bellmer, 1958
"And didn’t the doll, which lived solely through the thoughts projected into it, and which despite its unlimited pliancy could be maddeningly stand-offish, didn’t the very creation of its dollishness contain the desire and intensity sought in it by the imagination? Didn’t it amount to the final triumph over those young girls – with their wide eyes and averted looks – when a conscious gaze plundered its charms, when aggressive fingers searching for something malleable allowed the distillates of mind and senses slowly to take form, limb by limb?
Fit one joint to the other, swivel the ball-joints full circle and test them for childlike poses, gently trace the hollows, savour the pleasures of the curves, stray into the opening of an ear, do pretty things while simultaneously scattering the salt of deformation with a hint of vengeance.
Isn’t that the solution?”
— Hans Bellmer, The Doll
Stills from a performance for camera, inspired by the photographs of Unica Zürn taken by Hans Bellmer
"The disruption of body parts has an important function for Bellmer. He is fascinated by the ‘bubbles’ of flesh that are created and the inability of the mind to understand what it sees. For Bellmer ‘the imagination derives exclusively from bodily experiences’ and language is hardly sufficient to describe ‘the interoceptive images of the body’. It is the places where the viscera intercept with desired excitation that he is interested in unveiling. These could be any point of focus where desire is submitted to by an internal impulse leaving the rest of the body to disappear or be displaced.”
— Miranda Argyle, Hans Bellmer and The Games of the Doll
Le Puits dans la tour / Débris de rêves by Toyen, 1966
“That sand into which we bury ourselves in order not to see, is formed of words…and it is true that words, their labyrinths, the exhausting immensity of their “possibles”, in short their treachery, have something of quicksand about them.” —
Georges Bataille, L’expérience intérieure, translation by Leslie Ann Boldt
Tragic Anatomies by Jake and Dinos Chapman, 1996
The Chapmans’ aim is to unearth the contradictions and hypocrisies present in contemporary culture, posing questions but providing no answers.
“There’s nothing we’ve done here that can rival the darkness of the imaginations of children. They aren’t the innocents that adults want them to be.” -J.C.
2. Mirror, Mirror On The Floor Your Dad’s A Prick Your Mom’s A Whore
3. Catherine Milner
Fibreglass, resin and paint
“I stretched out in the grass, my skull on a large, flat rock and my eyes staring straight up at the milky way, that strange breach of astral sperm and heavenly urine across the cranial vault formed by the ring of constellations: that open crack at the summit of the sky, apparently made of ammoniacal vapors shining in the immensity (in empty space, where they burst forth absurdly like a rooster’s crow in total silence), a broken egg, a broken eye, or my own dazzled skull weighing down the rock, bouncing symmetrical images back to infinity.” — Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye
Les Milles en Feu, 1970 [crop]
La Danseuse, 1968 [crop]
Tir (The Shooting Gallery) XI, VII, X and VIII by Toyen, 1939-1940
Girl with Hoop by Hans Bellmer, 1967
“Communication for Bataille is first and foremost a bodily affair. Hence the interrogation of the limits of the subject starts from an interrogation of what we could call the “gates” or openings of the body: the mouth, the vagina, the anus and the eyes are for Bataille central places for philosophical investigation, because at these gates, the integrity of the subject is questioned; its limits can be transgressed.” —
Nidesh Lawtoo, Bataille and the Suspension of Being
Deshabillage by Hans Bellmer, 1943
Untitled (Double-Sided Portrait of Unica Zürn) by Hans Bellmer, 1954
Collage #357 by Karel Teige, 1948