Monday, October 23, 2017

Hans Bellmer

1 "The Message of Hans Bellmer''s Dolls " The dolls that Hans Bellmer constructed and photographed during the 1930s remain disturbing and controversial to this day. Although his work is well known for its iconic and conceptual ideals connecting with surrealists and Dadaists at the time, his work deliver a strong relationship to the cruel social and political conditions that were occurring inside Nazi Germany. It was only fitting that the birth of Hans Bellmer''s girl- doll collection came about at the same time as the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich.

These dolls were constructed in response to the rise if fascism in Germany. These images were an attack on the typical Nazi art and aimed to rebel against the ideal female body and gender construction. I believe that Bellmer wanted to redefine, expose and overturn how gender and sexuality was critiqued in Nazi Germany, while also expressing some internal anxieties on his own. In the year 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany. It was at this time that Bellmer gave up all work that might contribute to the government.

During this time is went he produced a body of work that would receive a critical response from its viewers. He constructed his series f doll in his response to his thought that " if the origin if my work is scandalous, it is because for me, the world is a scandal". Although the society in which he lived in did play a large role in the constructions of these dolls, and scene of this "father role" and identity connecting to (his) a farther fgure did come about in some of his works. In the article by Taylor, he goes into detail about the meaning behind the work of Bellmer''s dolls.

He points out that much of where he starts from portrays an ideal that much of his works involving dolls, toys, and games derive from this childhood anxiety. Bellmer stated, mies, my dolls were the beginning. Obviously there was a convulsive flavor to them because they reflected my anxiety and unhappiness". He later on went to say that idea these dolls were representational to the thought of rejecting his adult life and the attempt to return to his childhood that became this "erotic liberation" for him. Bellmer constructed two series of dolls that imaged that of adolescent girls.

These were modeled assuming various poses in different settings that were then photographed to create a complex narrative. These dolls are staged in unsettling scenes and alternate orderings of the female body. The contrast between the realistic body parts being organized in unnatural way, in everyday day environments is what made these so strange. These physical permutations, multiplications of limbs and fragmented parts, many be viewed as a complication of male anxiety, as well as male fantasies or erotic domination and control.

In one of the paintings in Die Puppe (1934), Bellmer incorporates objects from a nursery or playroom such as the marble, puppet, and cigar box. The "riveting" of the marble''s spiral intrigues him, almost as if they were, what he referred to as "the frozen cstasy''. In this piece Bellmer incorporates the marble in to the piece as a sign of tension that have these supernatural powers that are within this glass globe. This scene depicts a leg in a black boot, breasts misplaced, and head detached, as it 2warps its thigh around the oversized marble, creating the thought of intercourse or pleasure is taking place. On the reverse side of this painting, Die Glasmurmel foreground. This multicolored object is featured many of times in the "Memories of the Doll Theme". It can be said that the connection between both of these paintings s the use of the marble, creating this thought of "frozen ecstasy'' that can clearly be viewed in both. A certain theme of childhood and detachment has surrounded the thought behind most of the work that he had done. In another work that was published in Die Puppe (1934), Bellmer presents a doll''s detached legs, with a white rose emerging from where the two legs meet.

He then positions a woman''s high- heeled shoe; extending forward to almost look as if it is symbolizes "female genitals". It is clear that this is not a accurate representation of a woman, about a woman, or femininity. It is about the underlining message of most of he work is about, this masculine anxieties that are inspired by the female sex. Frued goes on to explain Bellemer''s work and locates the anxiety that produces the conflict of the fetish. The fear comes from the thought the young child who feels detachment and densification towards his mother, because she no longer has her genitals.

The anxiety that builds throughout these works is not fear of castration but fear but rather fear of separation. There is also a strong sense of insecurity and alienation Bellmer''s personal, financial, and political life that come forth. Much of Freud''s insight allowed us to se Bellmer''s devotion to dolls in a different light. This was a lifelong profession of farther hatred and anxiety producing homosexual desires. These dolls were inspired by Bellmer''s attraction to his mother''s sister''s daughter, whom he viewed as an object.

The dolls represent the chain of female relations that he has towards this attraction and then the possession that his farther has over all of it. This is why his feminine identification with dolls and the female body is so prominent throughout this career. Bellmer''s dolls also have a nightmare like quality to them. In one particular photograph of The Doll (1935), he shows a struggling, naked woman hanging from a tree and in the back ground what appears to be a shadow of a man.

One can ask is this photo about rape or is this about something more complex. All of the dolls in which he constructed had this feeling of hurt and but their attacker is never revealed. This leads the viewed to think question where this person is that is causing these figures such harm and more importantly why they are in the positions that they are. In much of Bellemer''s later work Frued goes on to point out the onnection between his childhood and his detachment between his father and the society of the Nazi Germany world that surrounds them.

Bellmer''s girl-doll collections were used to not only express the way in which he thought that the government was acting at the time, but also a way to express this internal fantasies. These images were an attack on the typical Nazi art and aimed to rebel against the ideal female body and gender construction. Hans Bellmer wanted to redefine, expose and overturn how gender and sexuality was critiqued in Nazi Germany, and while doing so he also expressed the internal anxieties on his own.

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