R O N G E R S H M A N
S A R A R Y T T E K E
Only Skin Deep–
Ron Gershman: Secret Lives of Mannequins
Sara Rytteke: You’re Such a Doll
This two-person show examines the media’s depiction of “the
model” and how it influences women’s self-perception. Giving a
male and female perspective, both artists play with the concept of
beauty, glamour, and the signals females receive on a daily
basis from youth on.
Gershman’s mannequins elicit a double-take, as their life-like
resemblance reinforces the façade of perfection. A closer
examination challenges our perception further when secrets are
revealed to us through captions that accompany the photos.
Rytteke focuses on the toys of girls’ pastimes, such as paper
dolls. By reinventing herself in the apparel of women throughout
the decades, she calls attention to the extent that clothing and
fashion sway female attitudes at an early age.
These mannequins have reached the pinnacle of their profession.
They appear in the main front windows of the leading fashion and
fetish boutiques of the world. These candid pictures were taken of
them on an average day at work. None of these images were posed
or staged and all were shot from the vantage point of the sidewalk, as
they are normally seen. Insights and personal details were obtained
directly from the mannequins. Although limited to non-verbal
communication, with time and patience, a wealth of information was
revealed about their private lives.
Every true illusionist must deal with realities,
every woman learn to let her gaze glaze over
to not be fooled by a mirror image.
I can see that you think I have seen through the image:
but don't be too sure.
We have all been trained to disguise ourselves,
to cover up the inconvenience to fit in.
So we constantly exceed each other in disguises,
while we seek for something that may have been lost.
I can see that it is hard for you to believe me, when I say
This is not I. Still: in all this am I.
So you have lent yourself to the image of someone else
to see how close to yourself you can come
and how far away from yourself you can go.
Poem by Tina Persson
Translation by Sara Rytteke