Artist Jordan Wolfson seemingly tapped into the deepest fears of my childhood when he created this dancing doll, which is currently on display at NYC’s David Zwirner Art Gallery. The thing that makes the fembot — which gyrates to a warped version of “Blurred Lines” – even more terrifying than the animatronic band members of the Rock-afire Explosion that frightened me in my youth is the fact that the creature makes eye contact and speaks to patrons (in Wolfon’s voice) about existential stuff. The mask and the pole coming out of its chest don’t exactly put me at ease either.
A write up in Blouin Art Info, interprets the work as a feminist piece about the male gaze:
“‘I don’t want to tell you this work is about women,’ said artist Jordan Wolfson over the phone, ‘because I don’t think that’s true’…Despite his statement, the doll is the result of an attempt, ‘in a way,’ to explore the gaze, a concept with psychoanalytical roots that is most associated with the feminist notion of gender power imbalance that occurs in film, renaissance painting, and other media when viewers are asked to identify with the male perspective, and hence the objectification of women. What happens when the gaze is held by the sexual object?”
Yeah, I’m still scared. [iO9]