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Jordan Wolfson’s Female_Figure

New York-based artist Jordan Wolfson moved to Los Angeles to work with a group of animatronics designers to create Female_Figure, a lifesize woman android that has all the right curves, and an repertoire of dance moves that linger in the uncanny valley a little too long. She wears a grotesque commedia dell’arte style mask that conceals most of the face, but her hands and exposed joints move in a way that is terrifyingly convincing. The most captivating part of Wolfson’s project is not the amazing movement of the piece, nor the mixture of pop music and spoken word that accompany the performance, but the eyes of Female_Figure. She, I mean … The sculpture is situated facing a large mirror thus the viewer is forced to observe her from behind, but can see her face in the mirror. Wolfson equipped Female_Figure with a facial recognition software, so when she locks eyes with the viewer, she returns their gaze and can follow them in the mirror. Flipping the idea of art spectatorship on its head, Female_Figure becomes active artwork that is as unsettling as it is a feat of design and motion.
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