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Thursday April 24, 2014
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Zbigniew Libera

 

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sets, as well as altered photographs, mock gym equipment, several minifigurines, and altered children's dolls.

Libera's series The Doll You Love to Undress offers a set of boxed children's pink plastic female dolls, whose eyes stare out above flayed-open abdomens showing protruding internal organs. Another doll, You Can Shave the Baby, shows a chubby baby doll with incongruous shaggy pubic and armpit hair. A third doll series, Ken's Aunt, shows matronly women in white body shapers, with slightly saggy breasts.

Also doll-like is Libera's Eroica, a set of four boxes containing a total of twenty-five naked female figures the size of toy soldiers. Each box shows, on one side, four scenes of naked women running with arms raised in a glaring spotlight, suggesting a desperate flight from confinement. In an artist's statement, Libera says, "No toy soldier set is complete without the inclusion of women, who have become the special targets of victimization in genocidal settings."

Among Libera's photographs is a response to the well-known Vietnam-era photo showing a running girl who had been napalmed. Libera's version restages the photo, replacing the crying girl with a laughing one, amid other smiling runners. Part of his Positives series of grim photos restaged as happy ones, the work is in part Libera's acidic comment on what he sees as a societal unwillingness to confront unpleasant realities.

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