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In the early 1930s, Bellmer created an almost life-sized figure of a young girl, which André Breton and Paul Eluard described as ‘the first and only Surrealist object with a universal, provocative power’. He recreated the doll in a variety of forms. This version makes the element of sexual fantasy explicit by reducing her to two sets of hips. It also derives from Bellmer’s desire to maximise the articulation of this substitute body/object through the use of ball joints. Indeed, this work was originally known as Ball Joint, and was exhibited in the 1936 Surrealist exhibition of objects held in Paris.

August 2004