Carwan Gallery presents Autopsy, a project by Carlo and Mary-Lynn Massoud at The Armory Show in New York.
Autopsy is the first collaboration between siblings Mary-Lynn Massoud (ceramist) and Carlo Massoud (product designer). The project has been entirely produced in Cape Town by Bronze Age and Imiso.
Curated by Maria Cristina Didero, Autopsy explores the fragility of life, inspired by South African traditional fertility dolls. African dolls across the continent are created for young girls to play with and as a charm to ensure fertility in women. Their shape and costume vary according to region and custom. Frequently dolls are handed down from mother to daughter. The dolls are often dressed with traditional garb. When the doll concept is considered in the context of African culture, they are usually not children’s playthings, but rather objects that are laden with ritual and religious associations within the community. African dolls are used to teach, and entertain. They are supernatural intermediaries and they are manipulated for ritual purposes. Each of these dolls is unique because they are handmade and are traditionally handed down through generations.
After an investigation in the use and history of the dolls in the region, the Massouds wanted to highlight the different rituals between the tribes and how each tribe symbolizes the protection of the female egg. The project explores the concept of fertility, symbolized by wounds and scars on the surface of the organic objects. Like ethnographic surgeons, the Massouds dissect the rough geometries to unveil certain details through these wounds. The Massouds then integrate the ritual of ornamentation with the use of locally produced materials like bronze and ceramic. This innovative representation of the dolls, brought to a larger scale, brings a new way to express these rituals, in a domestic environment.
The collection is composed of a series of six unique stools/tables editions, realized in casted bronze with bespoke colored oxidations and ceramic.