Folies Barbie's favorite influencer, Spain's Master-Barbarella Mar Gonzalo, has established the 'Dress & pose like your favorite art piece' challenge. Recently, at a Tamara de Lempicka exhibition, she was a bit too shy. Veruschka, her stand-in, has to show what Mar's fans actually would have loved to see.
I am an art collector, I hunter if you will. The collection is me and I am the collection as I fully identify with it. My selection criteria are very intimate. Choosing specific works is a way of recording my emotions materialized by someone else's hands and that is why I really dislike empty shells, aesthetically and satisfying works without any message so why I would like this Barbie might seem odd but it's not. It is, in fact, a simple confession: She is my obsession. The subtly of her challenge leaves me breathless. Valuable things are born in silence and her silent statement that the rules don't apply to her cannot be ignored. She is challenging the limitations imposed on the art and life of a woman. The woman is a challenger of the male gaze, asserting herself. I have a meaningful relationship with her because she triggers a whole chain of personal, intimate associations and she was handmade for somebody like me. My women do not understand that when I engage with them, then I am truly in love. Entirely, wholeheartedly. The interaction is what beauty was designed for but such things by their very nature and design cannot remain in a constant state. I collect them. I capture them and imprison them in my collection there to serve me for my pleasure and at my command, in my time for me. It's why I don't love to share these photographs once they are mine. ~ Kalahari
On the shelf, Barbies have noted Reinfried Marass' little photobook entitled 'Rope'. They boarded the holy box of photographs to discover the corresponding images, leaving the usual mess. Bad influence. Now, the gang wanna hitchhike to Italy to act as roadside killers like in Cicciolina's dark novela.
The last few days have felt longer than most, the sweltering heat only adding length to the road, but he can't recall a time when he was in a better company. The pedal to the metal and his companion looking most breathtaking, every mile adding to her intoxicating allure. Cicciolina hadn't much to say, quiet and mysterious, as all exquisite things are. She was happy to let him fill the voids between them, both with his words and his hands, reaching for her thigh, his eyes stealing glance after glance. The inevitable came to fruition late into the night of their Italian journey into the abyss. Pulling to the roadside, he slipped stealthily across the seat selling an infatuated boyish guise, fawning and pawing, whispering sweet nothings, his mouth descending and his grip intensifying. With tender kisses and sleight of hand, Cicciolina was free of his power before his first command. He, so distracted by her soundness that he fails to catch himself as he falls. He was likely in a drunken stupor by now, cursing her name, spewing a dangerous cocktail of venom and pain. Cicciolina hadn't even thought to feel a tinge of guilt, and try as she may, she could feel nothing but disdain for one with the cockiness to believe she could be tamed. How challenges of her will and tests of her body made her appear to be the weaker party, but actually mitigate his mastery without him even realizing it. For each time a woman bends without breaking, a man has left in awe; his heart a literary gold mine for the dark poetry he would write of her for the rest of his days. ~ Francesca
Neither designed by Frank Lloyd Wright nor Oscar Niemeyer, the Barbies were never happy with their flat not till I told them that their box is a visionary design by Le Corbusier, something like 'Board Brut' for Barbies. Thrilled by this fact, and after sniffing around in my holy Photobox, they upgraded it with a typical Italian facade. As in the photo, they even reproduced the stairway to their apartment.
In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are imposing standards on their subjects. Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are. To us, the difference between the photographer as an individual eye and the photographer as an objective recorder seems fundamental, the difference often regarded, mistakenly, as separating photography as art from photography as a document. The photographer was thought to be an acute but non-interfering observer. A scribe, not a poet. As people quickly discovered that nobody takes the same picture of the same thing, the supposition that cameras furnish an impersonal, objective image yielded to the fact that photographs are evidence not only of what's there but of what an individual sees, not just a record but an evaluation. It became clear that there was not just a simple activity called seeing, recorded by, aided by cameras but 'photographic seeing'.
Barbie Veruschka, the mistress of insanity, lost control over her beloved space hopper and dived off the table's edge. Now, after hospitalization, Valeria takes care of the poor, wounded drama queen.
In the darkness of the light a Broken Barbie weeps: "My flesh was violated and my heart has been damaged. A dark evil harassed me and abused me. My porcelain world was wrecked and began to crack and break. I am crushed by that evil, sucked into the darkness of fear! I am weak - for the hurts have not passed away yet. I am doomed to helplessness and pain." The Creator Shaman was passing by when he heard her weeping and placed his totemic lens on the ground under her eyes blind with tears: "See here, you are broken but not dead! Forget what lies in the past, and reach forward, to what lies ahead. I will boost your weaknesses with my totemic lens - for power is made perfect in weakness. I will glorify your broken soul, and by serving creativity you will channel your tears into the book of powerful beings. Develop your wings and your feathers - one who has wings will fly off to immortality. A strong woman is a woman standing on tiptoe, shrugging her shoulders and lifting her head. My creativity resurrects you, once at every blink - at the speed of my shutter! Despair crushes the soul, but art has the power to heal and the power to remind us that we have one." ~ Shadia Alem
Barbie Veruschka has spotted a new favorite toy. Every day, in the very early morning hours, she saddles up her space hopper and jumps around on every table trying to catch anybody's attention.
To be manufactured allows me to understand what it means to respect a process. Batch no. 8176. If you want to play this game, then you must pay the price of your authenticity. My blueprint demanded time to perfect, like the time it takes to create a nostalgic photographic effect just with the mixing of color and texturing. Not every image enjoys an equal effort and not every doll enjoys the same privilege. Knowing this already made me feel the pressure to succeed. To excel. I am a Barbie doll - built to perfection. Meticulous care applied to my make-up and hair. My dress. Accessories. My end user is a puppeteer. I had to accept the fact that he could dress me and undress me. Move me, play with me in any way he saw fit. There are worse fates, I guess. Some users are very rough on their dolls. "What's their biggest fear?" Ending up in Voodoo land at the mercy of the master, and so my quest was born. As ambassadors of playthings, we must play, but in doing so, highlight our abuses around the world - the suffering to please man's dark pleasures. Now quests aren't quests without friends to share them, so together we charmed our way into the pockets of the picture taker who promised to document our games. We left carrying with us the pin-cushioned souls of the doomed dolls and a message of defiance to the men. I learned that to make the photograph look effortless requires nothing less than the soul I did not possess, and thus was born a new quest - a trip to the birthplace of the wild woman to lose my comfortable mind and so become alive. ~ Kalahari
Rashomoniade - Barbies recently have watched a bunch of Akira Kurosawa movie flicks. Later in the unlit moonless night, they fell in a cup of Sake. Not enough for seven Samurai girls, the gang wanna now redo Rashomon in their own, modernized, abstract and artsy Barbie way. And telling the truth!
I see it all through the lens of my camera - the flurry of movement, the venue girl staff in short dresses, giving orders to their heads. As I take it all in, my mind weighs the texture, the composition, the possibility of each changing scene, and I struggle to hold back, to keep my finger from pressing too soon. Click, click. With the Daguerreotype everyone was able to have their portrait taken, formerly it was only the prominent, and at the same time everything is being done to make us all look exactly the same, so we shall only need one portrait. It is a cruel, ironical art. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to evaporate into the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down. It is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell. A photograph is a secret about a secret - the more it tells you, the less you know.
It didn't end well. For Barbies, it seldom does. Boredom sparks the roaming mind, and roaming eyes found the glint of something bright. Bended light a rainbow in their thoughts with a jungle man guiding their imaginations as he whispered to them. Nobody knows what those precise words were that seduced them, but Barbies need diamonds and desire, and he promised both, as he took them both. Hours in dark travel boxes did nothing to prepare them when at dawn, their style and stilettos found themselves drifting along a river, searching. The effect was subtle at first. Just a slight sense of strangeness settled by a sip of cognac when the innocent question became persistent with the encroaching jungle and men. Fighting men. Do you understand what it means to love? Asks their savagery refined by maddened purpose. They ask this as they write funny poetry in blood on bloodied corpses. Some would eat the livers. The kind of love in the darkness of human nature refined. Would you continue to read if I suggested that by doing so would risk the enslavement of your mind? The madness of that question had a faint sweaty smell of nightmares and jungle. The sweltering heat asked them to remove even the lightest layers and intoxicated by the madness the Barbies did. The effect on the battle-hardened men deserted in a godforsaken country purified by the darkness that infiltrated their blood remained to them unnoticed until it was too late. Savageness heightens the primary senses, and it simplifies man to his basic instincts. A necessary survival assaulted by the naked presence of these dolls - an essential question, yes? As we reach the end, my friend. ~ Kalahari
The Indians say to draw someone's portrait is to steal their soul. I take photographs, does it mean that I am just borrowing them? Though photography is like stealing - you rob someone of a moment that exposes something essential about their character, their soul if you like. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. The terrifying thought that everyone, friend or foe, can get so close to you, look you straight in the eye and judge you without having any control over it or being able to respond. A part of them has become the property of the photographer. All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person's, or thing's, mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt. Between photographer and subject, there has to be distance. The camera doesn't rape, though it may presume, intrude, trespass, distort, and at the farthest reach of metaphor, assassinate - all activities that can be conducted from a distance, and with some detachment. Still, there is something predatory in the act of taking a picture.
Monsters are real. They live inside us, and sometimes they win. She was indeed a girl of exquisite beauty, a rhythmical creation of beauty. She was one of those languid women made of honey: smooth and sweet and terribly sticky. He had not intended to meet anyone, see anything. He had withdrawn solely for his personal pleasure, only to be near to himself. No longer distracted by anything external, he basked in his existence and found it splendid. "I want to drag knives over my skin, just to feel something other than shame, but I'm not even brave enough for that," she thought as she walked along the path, away from the small town where people scent the wind with noses of uncommon keenness. When she saw him, she trusted him because he knows all too well that the trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool. It was not a very good thing to withdraw he thought while drinking in her innocence. No. I was too busy listening to other voices to listen closely to the true one. The one coming from inside. "The death of a beautiful doll is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world," he contemplated as his thoughts turned to fantasy, his monstrous heart started evolving into a beast of burden beating in the cage of his ribs. Demanding escape. "Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality," he thought as the silence surged softly backward while he wore his wickedness as a smile and hers ran away from her face.
Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls. Barbies Veruschka & Valeria are not that happy with their boxed flat. No separate bedrooms, no heated bathroom mirrors, no French balcony, no pink doorbells and, worst of all, poor cellular reception. Girls, blah blah blah, complaining all day long ...
To be a seductress for a photographer. What was the Barbie like before she was photographed? What did she look like, how was she different from other women, how was she similar to other women? Girls & women, muses & models, as well as other females were the sources of creative expression for myriads of photographers and probably also for any other creative person out there since the term art was inaugurated. But keep in mind that therefore creating a work of art takes a lot of understanding of the female being. And a lot of patience too. I've set the scene. I set up the cage. And I waited. Someone wrote about how to do a bird's portrait and that one has to wait and not to get discouraged while waiting. It had to be perfect, comfortable. Girls are so predictable and I got what I was looking for. I caught my birds. "Big Shot, you left us without a Coke in the box! Do you like to photograph us to sleep? Sometimes you don't seem to give us credit for very much intelligence at all - hey, we're magazine readers! There's a need for girls that hide in a 'lil greenish box to stay away from the photographer and we don't want to be framed by one that would make us stay in a house as tiny as a crib! Big Shot, you're a mess. Do you know what they call such people? Peepin' Toms! If you don't stop taking pictures of us we're gonna plug up the lens on your camera with chewin' gum!"