Barbara Broughel: The Stitch Ripper

doll, mixed media
prelature
Fairy-tales, 1999

Based on voodoo doll-making. I constructed a Haitian Black Madonna, conveying something from Haitian worshippers; majority of Haitian black women, many of whom work at baseball and brassiere factories. The piece embodies a West African ideal of beauty, constructed from Haitian-made baseballs, brassieres and industrial sewing tools. It was displayed in the prelature building of the monastery as a Christian icon. An active imagination is a sign of intelligence, and is the most fascinating and powerful tool we have… for both creating the world, and for surviving in it.
Through the imagination we are able to project beyond present „reality“ into the real of potential realities. It is by this process that we are able to envision, invent, survive and evolve from the present into the future. Fairy-tale is an extension of this active imagination and an extraordinary survival tool.
Through the life of imagination, we are able to experience possibilities which we cannot, at present, access in our „real life“, but which are essential to our self-image, our self-esteem, our mental health, and will to survive. This piece is about the surviving consciousness of slave labours and the need to project oneself, if on is to survive that experience, into a moral ideal context for the ego and the spirit. This particular voodoo doll is designed for sending one´s soul back to Africa.

Barbara Broughel, Plasy 1999


Barbara Broughel is an American visual artist who was born in 1956 at Hartford, Connecticut. Based in New York she has created poetic versions of various products important in the history of political economy, such as diamonds, coffee, and tobacco, to convey symbolically significant details of their production circumstances.
Education: 1984, Institute for Semiotics and Structural Studies, Toronto, Canada, 1983 MFA State University of New York,visual arts and photography, Buffalo, NY,  1982 The Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, NY,  1980 BS University of California at San Diego, visual arts and communications media, La Jolla, CA, 1975-77 Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, visual arts and philosophy of language, West Hartford, CT. 
Teaching: 1995-00 MIT (lecturer), 1997-99 Wesleyan University (lecturer), 1996-97 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (lecturer), 1995 Radcliffe College / Harvard University (tutorials)