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Text going with the images,
Venice Biennale 2013:


“In the 1920s, as Germans struggled to process
the horrors of the First World War and the seismic
shifts of industrialization, the nation developed a
rich, lively, and strikingly modern cultural life. In
Berlin, in particular, the era was one in which both
aesthetic sensibilities and frivolous amusements
were elaborated to sublime extremes. The city
became the European capital of ready-to-wear
fashion: by 1927, the industry employed over a
third of Berlin’s workforce. Through spectacular
window displays, richly illustrated magazines, and
modeling competitions, fashion and the business
surrounding it comprised the visible center of
modern life, particularly for women.

Karl Schenker was a successful and well-known
photographer in this milieu: working chiefly for
the popular Berlin women’s magazines Uhu and
Die Dame, he specialized in portraits, images
of actors, and fashion photography. He kept a
photography studio in a stylish quarter of the
city from 1913 to 1923, where he also created
many of his own mannequins out of wax. Using
wigs, false eyelashes. and his skills as a painter,
Schenker elevated the art of the store dummy to
new levels of refinement and verisimilitude. The
blurring of lines between human and inanimate
was also ubiquitous in another realm of Weimar
culture: after a generation of men were maimed
in combat during World War l, prosthetic limbs
were a common, everyday sight. In images of
automata and other human-machine hybrids.
artists such as George Grosz explored this
phenomenon, reflecting on both the carnage
of the war and a pervasive societal concern
that human experience was being increasingly
in?uenced and mediated machines. Schenker´s elegant mannequins,
clad in glamorous clothing and striking fetching poses,
instead endow the arti?cial with an alluring
charm and beauty.”