Funny though frightening. Carefully constructed yet utterly vernacular. Nevertheless being real-looking, also extremely caricature-like. There is something mesmerisingly intriguing in these simply constructed human-like figures, often even directly staring at us in the series of “Mannequins” by Tor Seidel. Looking at the pictures, we automatically start thinking of several questions: what are actually these figures? How can we interpret them in their totality, i.e. including their appearance and functioning? Most importantly: what do they become in and through the works of the photographer…
In his social theory on the postmodern state, Jean Baudrillard used the concept of simulacra and simulation to describe the process of how the distinction between original and copy rapidly fade, and in the current discourses of the power and danger of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, these dummies, with their innocently genuine appearance can almost serve as a relief…
Tor Seidel is thus rightly sensing that these are not simple road and construction signs, merely reminding us of an actual traffic situation, much more they disclose something alarmingly perturbing, yet amusingly thought-provoking concerning our contemporary condition.
abstract of: "On the ”Mannequins” of Tor Seidel by Zoltán Somhegyi in: Tor Seidel, Mannequin, Kerber, 2017