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Barbie dolls sail to Lyon in a slave ship

for the occasion of the 12th biennial of contemporary art in Lyon, l’église Saint-Just welcomes artist Tom Sachs and his sculpture, the ‘Barbie slave ship’.

A critique of our consumerist, western, capitalist and pro-slavery society: names of famous personalities rub shoulders with enslaved Barbie dolls and representations of big consumer brands.

a l’occasion de la 12ème Biennale d’art contemporain, l’église Saint-Just accueille l’artiste Tom Sachs et son oeuvre, le «Barbie slave ship».

Critique de la société de consommation, occidentale, capitaliste et esclavagiste, les noms de personnages célèbres, réels ou fictifs, côtoient des barbies esclaves et des représentations de grandes marques de l’industrie.

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All images © Armance Beauchamp


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  1. Elise Mellor
    5 years ago

    Such an interesting commentary on modern life (or perhaps, ‘life since the beginning of time’?).
    To me this seems to examine the way in which women and girls are sexualised, treated as mindless playthings, viewed as homogeneous and without individuality, treated as chattel… I think the artist is suggesting that all of these problems are start and are perpetuated in early childhood when we give our girls toys to play with that depict women as glamorous idiots, smiling prettily and uncomprehendingly
    …so many things come to mind.
    What does everyone else see when they look at this? I’m dying to know!!