hamburg

Nicola Torke

Agentur für Zeitgenössische Kunst

Every well-stocked porno shop has two types of sex dolls for sale: the classic blowup doll and the imitation vagina, which (in terms of form) is, at best, abstract-looking. The latter “can’t replace a real pussy,” as the accompanying promotional material admits. “but it comes damn close!” Nicola Torke presented a refinement of a quite different nature in her latest exhibition. There, a sex doll stood on three short, titlike legs, cast in spotless white porcelain and detailed with a precious line of gold. This work, Seemannsbraut (Sailor’s cushion), 2001, didn’t look at all like a practical love substitute; indeed, it resembled an organic, abstract form á la Henry Moore rather than anything to be found in the ranks of rosy, skin-colored orgasm aids. It is a seemingly innocent trinket that only on closer inspection reveals its anal and vaginal openings.

The context of the installation, too,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 2001 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.