Manekin artysty, manekin fetysz
This is a report from a visit to the exhibition, Mannequin d’artiste, mannequin fétiche, presented at the Paris Musée Bourdelle in April 1-July 12 2015. In the first place, the show was intended to be a story about the mannequin in the history of artistic practices. In such a context, the mannequin turns out to have been a great enemy of two currents: first, romanticism, which in his conception of creative genius rejected the idea of representing reality, and second, all the anti mimetic tendencies in modern art in which the question of adequate representation of the body can only be a negative point of reference. That double rejection of the mannequin was compensated by its position within realism, for which it remained indispensable, and surrealism, for which the mannequin (particularly the tailor’s dummy) was a value in its own right: aesthetic, oneiric, philosophical, and erotic (see the most famous works of de Chirico and Bellmer).