Articles / Reviews

Imprints of Elusive Selves and Others

I created a projection surface of myself by fabricating a rag doll that I “peeled off” of my body. The cartoon-like fakeness was intentional. The doll had no movements of her own – a pure costume displayed for the camera, underlining the coherence and integrity that a photograph can bestow on its subjects, an echo of the mechanics of photography itself.  Although being conscious of creating representations of representations (of some sort of feminine images), I also wanted to construct a world of its own, a shadow world, where the deliberately obfuscated doll became visible only after the prolonged gaze of the viewer.

In one sense, my work is about an examination of the self as other, as a being with an elusive or even absent center. It is also a means to relive certain experiences and observations. The figures serve as projection surfaces or placeholders: the structures of identity alter depending on the surroundings, reverberating to the projections of others.

I use this projection surface not only for myself, but to create a generic tabula rasa of others as well, a tableau for making visible our half-conscious anxieties and desires.


Iris Klein, 2006
Catalogue statement for
Switching Worlds: Desires and Identities