Multimedia Studio Visit

Mannequins Don’t Look Back


Artist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ken Tolmie

Camera, Edit, Music . . . . . . . . . .

Scott-Morgan Straker

Mannequins are a subject that Ken Tolmie revisits frequently in his Window Series. In this short film, Tolmie asserts that mannequins are the last surviving form of public statuary: mannequins entail the technical challenges of figurative art without the stress that accompanies gazing at and representing actual people. Mannequins are not representations of specific persons but metaphors for a general category of people; the viewer is therefore free to project his or her desires onto the mannequin, to objectify it. Of course this objectification also occurs with human subjects, but it is obscured by the personal relationship that occurs between spectator and the subject. By painting mannequins, Tolmie is able to focus on the process of objectification without the stress and complications that attend conventional figurative art. Explore these ideas with Tolmie as you view the spectacular effects he achieves with mannequins in Knights and White Satin.

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