WhiteFeather
Alma
2009
Human hair, Persian lamb, beaver fur, rabbit fur, mink, raffia, goat skin, acrylic paint, gold leaf, beeswax, deer hoof, moose teeth, taxidermy epoxy, found vintage mannequin.
69 x 33 x 24
after Oskar Kokoschka and Rimbaud:

Faun's Head
by Arthur Rimbaud

Among the foliage, green casket flecked with gold,
In the uncertain foliage that blossoms
With gorgeous flowers where sleeps the kiss,
Vivid and bursting through the sumptuous tapestry,

A startled faun shows his two eyes
And bites the crimson flowers with his white teeth.
Stained and ensanguined like mellow wine
His mouth bursts out in laughter beneath the branches.

And when he has fled - like a squirrel -
His laughter still vibrates on every leaf
And you can see, startled by a bullfinch
The Golden Kiss of the Wood, gathering itself together again.

***

When Oskar Kokoschka returned home from World War I, his beloved, Alma Mahler, had already married another. In his duress, he commissioned a doll maker to create a life-sized replica of Mahler. It was given a fur covering to replicate the softness of her skin. Kokoschka escorted his doll to the opera, held parties in its honour, and hired a maid to dress and service it.
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