Mannequins: The Struggle of Living in a Whole-Bodied World

First inspired by the heap of junk in a drawing room, I started photographing mannequins. Limbs and various other mannequin pieces were mixed in along with other drawing still-life objects creating an eerie atmosphere. Theres something to body parts. The limbs are of an elegant female mannequin body and when the entire figure is complete, she is quite beautiful. Yet, the second you break the figure down into individual legs, arms, hands, and head, the pieces each take on very different identities. The arms reach, the fingers caress, the toes point, but for what purpose? What are they longing and reaching for?

My thoughts flicker back to the movie Toy Story, in which the antagonist Sid, the creepy child next door, gets pleasure out of blowing dolls and other toys to pieces. When he is gone and the pieces of the abused toys are left alone, they come alive. Even though they have difficulty getting around (the hand struggles to walk on its fingers, the lone leg hops around), they still move with purpose. Where are these pieces trying to go? What are they trying to accomplish? Its a sad and pitiful scene. This is the story of lonely body parts trying to fit into a whole-bodied world. Sometimes they gaze at themselves longingly in a mirror, trying to picture what a having a whole body must be like. Sometimes they perk up, trying to socialize, but it only ends in sadness when they realize they’re not capable of whole-bodied activities; the action passes them by.

Sometimes they bond together with one another in solidarity, in attempts to ease their loneliness, and sometimes they brave the world on their own, trying to blend in as best they can, even though they know theyre only a part of the whole. Often times theyre bullied – ostracized – just because theyre different and dont fit in. What Id like to express with my photos is that sense of longing as the pieces strive to fit into society and the sadness that comes when they fail to.