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[NSFW] Photographer Turns Her Subjects into Androgynous, Erotic Dolls

Models are sophisticated mannequins under the gaze of Polish artist Joanna Grochowska.

Emerson Rosenthal

This article originally appeared on Creators.

Shot inside inoffensively carpeted rooms, underneath omniscient lights, or outdoors—only God knows where—the subjects of Joanna Grochowska's photographs are prone, posed less like living beings than the grotesque, plastic dolls of Hans Bellmer. Under the Polish photographer's provocative gaze, the body is less a thing to be admired than probed and pushed past imaginary limits. It's a process the artist calls "sophisticated mannequinization," that is, the hardening of the human form and softening of its spirit; submission at its most consensual, for how does an object object?

"The Body, composed in an anonymous space, serves as an object of voyeuristic desires," writes Grochowska, "awaiting its limitless anagrammatical recompositions imposed by the imagination of the Viewer." Her artist's statement comes with a bibliography that reads like a who's who in transgression—de Sade, Eluard, and Foucault are obvious influences—but it's the theory, backed by Bataille, Susan Sontag, Julia Kristeva, and Hanna Segal that really shines through. Her work harks back to a particularly formative experience she had when she was only nine: "Viewing Botticelli's The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti exhibited in the Prado Museum. The series of paintings recounting a story from The Decameron, present a scene of the hunt in the pine forest—a young, naked woman being pursued by the dogs and chased by a horseman with a sword. When the victim falls, the knight slits open her back and rips the heart out to feed his dogs."

Writes Grochowska, "The purpose is to explore the conjunction between the play of pain and the phenomena of beauty." Find that pressure point—and more—in the photographs below:

"Foiling Olga"

"The Serpent"

"The Sublime Corner"

"Fake Nurse"

"Caroline Collared on her Face"

"Plant Boredom"

"The Girl Next Door"

Click here to see more from Joanna Grochowska.

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