Pretty from afar, and far from pretty…

..which is also a play on the use and abuse of “beauty” that is strongly implied in Anoush Abrar’s Californication. There is something “dirty” about the images, and the accompanying words from the artist, talking about the pilgrimages to the perceived glamour and fame inherent to Hollywood (the idea, more than the place), California, set the stage for this. There’s alot of T & A in these images, as you’d expect would be the requirement in the scabbling road to success for potential “starlets”.

More of Anoush Abrar’s engaging Californication here.

But here’s where Abrar takes us to the next “logical” step, with the series “Real Dolls” : when the hopeful, desperate starlet wanna be’s are not compliant or obedient enough, or when you want that full submissive experience, you can move on to the latest and greatest innovation.

 

 

And unlike the “dolls” in “Californication”, these (literal) dolls are named: and I can’t help but see a sense of exploitation and submission, as if to say that when the hopeful starlets aren’t compliant enough, you can always use the dolls…..like the models whom Vina Aspara (from Salman Rushdie’s Ground Beneath Her Feet) disparages, they only open their mouths for one reason, and it’s neither to eat, nor speak.
In Timothy Findley’s Headhunter, an unscrupulous psychiatrist develops a drug, tellingly titled “obedian”….and its exponential dosages are described as growing from “Would you like to take my picture?” to “Would you like to kill me now?”
Consumption can take on an entirely different – or perhaps ancient – sense, in moving from Californication to Real Dolls.

More of Anoush Abrar’s work here.