Inflatable Doll

Graduation thesis, Hogeschool van de Kunsten Utrecht

Shown at FUSE EXPO in FOAM 

Contains flashing lights

In ‘Inflatable doll’ I dive back into the ‘body horror’ of coming of age.

It’s a story about throwing yourself in a pile of users and abusers, experiencing terrifying insecurities, and dissociating yourself from your own body in such extreme ways that it becomes severed from yourself. While simultaneously the rest of the world was growing up normally, engaging with each other in intimate, lively bonds, I was dealing with issues of which severity I could not comprehend back then. In these moments of divine horror and extreme ecstasy my body was let loose in the wilderness and grew into multiple monstrous shapes and forms; creatures I couldn’t recognize as myself anymore.

Using the 3D scans of classical statues, animals, and other things I could grab my hand on, I morph and match these figures and shapes into warped representations of budding sexuality and masculinity. The medium is important in this project, as I use the technology which powered the fantasy worlds of my childhood to show a fantasy that is grounded in an emotional reality of mental health. All this to turn my coming of age into mythical beings; drawing their forms from real and imagined mythologies.

The project is the realization of my fascination with materializing my trauma. It is drenched in nostalgia as I use my obsession with popular culture to frame these personal memories within the conventions of the media I grew up with. Drawing inspiration from video games like ‘Silent Hill’, I try to mold the worst moments of my life into something I can truly grasp and play around with; like the action figures, I used to play with as a kid.