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In the Uncanny Valley / The Origin of the New World

15.12.2018 - 21.12.2018
ZHdK – Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zürich

The exhibition »The Origin of the New World« from Los Angeles based artist Elena Dorfman accompanies the workshop »In the Uncanny Valley. Encounters in Arts, Media, Continental Philosophy«. It is a sequel to Dorfman’s 2004 seminal series Still Lovers that examined the domestic relationships between men and dolls. »The Origin of the New World« displays photographic lightboxes which are inspired by Gustave Courbet’s painting from 1866, »L’Origine du Monde«. They replace the painter’s flesh-and-blood model with a silicone sex doll. Dorfman states, »visible only when the light box is switched on, the doll’s prone figure is illuminated through a one-way mirror. The darkened mirror – normally used for surveillance and interrogation – is employed here as a device to prompt viewers to consider their own relationship to the subject, as well as the broader issues this post-human figure evokes.«


Exhibition opening
Saturday, 15 December 2018, 15.00-15.30, with Elena Dorfman, Dieter Mersch, Jörg Sternagel, followed by the workshop through Sunday, 16 December


Symopsium: In the Uncanny Valley Part 2
Encounters in Arts, Media, Continental Philosophy. An International Workshop in Two Parts,
15 December 2018, 15:00 – 16 December 2018, 18:00


The Symposium is accompanied by the the discussion »I married a puppet. Sexdolls and other Avatars«, 13 December, 12.30.


For more information see:

Parts of the series »The Origin of the New World« are published in DIAPHANES Magazine No. 5