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Baron Books

Romain Slocombe - Broken Dolls II [PRE ORDER]

$85.00 AUD

Hardback book. Printed red edges with curved corners. Rubber details. 80 pages. 22 x 33.

Broken Dolls ll, Baron’s latest publication, is a revival of Romain Slocombe’s photographic series, in which the artist staged and documented subjects decked out in medical fetish attire.

Bandaged and swaddled in gauze, wearing eye patches, casts, and neck braces, the images were shot in a variety of locations across Tokyo and Paris, between 1992 and 2018 – in hospital wards, hotel rooms, trains, and streets— and are as much an ode to Tokyo’s haunting megacity, known for its erotic and technological possibilities and the fulfilment of fantasy, as they are an exploration of the artist’s own medical fetish proclivities. This publication contains black-and-white and colour photographs from Slocombe’s series, alongside illustrations by the artist.

First subtitled “A Medical Art Diary,” the images in this publication explore the artist’s aesthetic and personal interest in the world of medical fetishism. In Broken Dolls, this fetish emerges via the implication of ensuing medical care, which is visually signalled through medical dressings and equipment. Although these images are staged, for Slocombe, it is the performance aspect that gages his interest. The exaggerated swaddling of bodies, in medical dressings, forms part of the role-playing aspect of medical scenes. Pointing to early childhood experiences of feigning injury for attention, the artist exhibits a desire for playing games and ‘dressing up.’ Moreover, the aesthetic quality of bandaging, Slocombe argues, is what is most affecting about the images, rather than the prospect of actual injury: “I’m more interested in the wrapping, in the visual, in the outside aspect, rather than what might be on the inside.”

In Slocombe’s monochromatic film world, white bandages glow and become a hypnotic focal point for the fetishist, and are a quasi-bondage device; their colour and softness are far from traditional BDSM gear crafted from leather or latex. It is this softness that transcends the implied violence of the photographs and introduces the potential for tenderness and care, which is at the heart of Slocombe’s vision of medical fetishism.

The book also includes an essay by Olivia Rowe

Romain Slocombe (b. Paris, 1953) is a photographer, illustrator, film-maker, painter, and writer whose unique interests relating to medical fetishism have earned him the title of the “Medical Artist”, in Japan. His early artistic development was shaped by his involvement with the punk cartooning Bazooka collective and his contributions to counter-culture magazines such as Métal Hurlant. He is a prolific graphic novelist and fiction writer, having published more than 30 novels over several decades.  

This piece is available to pre order now.
Shipping October/November 2024.
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