london

Ydessa Hendeles, From her wooden sleep . . . (detail), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Mark Blower.

Ydessa Hendeles

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

Ydessa Hendeles, From her wooden sleep . . . (detail), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Mark Blower.

As I entered Ydessa Hendeles’s installation From her wooden sleep . . . , 2015, I instantly became extremely anxious. I was equally entranced. The darkened theater space of the ICA was filled with 150 wooden artist’s mannequins—from miniature, doll-size figures to adult-human scale, dating from 1520 to 1930—collected by Hendeles over the past twenty years. Most were seated on rows of low oak pews designed for children, their backs turned as they looked toward a lone beech and steel figure, with an easel holding a portrait of a man to its right. On either side of this figure were four high-backed American Arts and Crafts oak settles (designed by Gustav Stickley) with more mannequins sitting on them—like the choir surrounding an altarpiece—while various vitrines contained smaller mannequins. This meticulously staged scene conjured the forms and ritualistic drama

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 Summer 2015 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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