new-york

Laurie Simmons, The Love Doll/Day 25 (The Jump), 2010, color photograph, 70 x 52 1/2". From the series, “The Love Doll: Days 1–30,” 2009–.

Laurie Simmons

Salon 94 | Bowery

Laurie Simmons, The Love Doll/Day 25 (The Jump), 2010, color photograph, 70 x 52 1/2". From the series, “The Love Doll: Days 1–30,” 2009–.

Perhaps, to paraphrase the old Freudian misquote, it’s possible for a doll to sometimes just be a doll—but certainly not in Laurie Simmons’s work. The photographer and filmmaker has built a thirty-year practice by drafting a town’s worth of figurines, mannequins, and puppets into formal and symbolic roles, typically deploying these human surrogates in miniaturized, dollhouselike scenarios designed variously to dramatize the claustrophobia of the domestic, unearth the uncanny in the interpersonal, and tease out the myriad varieties of desire and disenchantment she detects hovering around the furniture of everyday life. These tableaux have usually read as persuasive—if often rather drily distanced—exercises in the evocative potential of the photographic still life, and have tended, in their Pictures generation way, to aim first for cerebral, rather than emotional,

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 May 2011 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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