AUTHOR: Jordan Wolfson, an American artist living between Berlin and New York.
DESCRIPTION: Jordan Wolfson is accustomed to creating characters, many of his previous works are for instance digital animations. For his first exhibition at the David Zwirner gallery, Jordan Wolfson took things to the next level and created a tridimensional female character who can directly address the visitor. Looking like a stripper wearing aWicked mask, the life-size doll is actually an animatronic sculpture developed in collaboration with Spectral Moments, a special effects studio based in Los Angeles. The visitor can meet the exotic dancer on a one-on-one basis in a mirrored room of the gallery. Attached to the wall by a metallic pole, the animatronic sculpture does her dance routine while occasionally talking to the visitor and looking at him in the eyes. The precision of her dance moves or even of her hands alone is incredible.
AMUSEMENT RATE: The stare of the animatronic sculpture is so intense, it would put anyone uncomfortable. The mask is probably there as a way to avoid creating a human face using animatronics but it also definitely adds to the creepiness of the overall look. The importance of the gaze is found throughout Wolfson’s work but it finds here a very special interpretation. He gives the ability to gaze to two different entities, a stripper and a robot, who are by definition never supposed to look up. The visitor is no longer in control of the situation, creating the awkwardness that is at the core of the work.