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Alexandra Bircken

New Model Army

  • Year2016
  • MaterialMannequin on metal stand, nylon, leather, padding
  • Dimensions164 x 26 x 49 cm
  • Year of acquisition2018
  • Inventory numberUAB 1106
  • On viewGround floor 0.6

More about the artwork

Four headless mannequins are arranged in a rank-and-file formation. The title promises a “New Model Army,” but the figures rather resemble a rag army. Parts of used motorcycle clothing have been sewn directly onto the plastic bodies with stuffing material and silk pantyhose. Abrasions from accidents on the motorcycle gear, as well as the manual seams that hold the materials together, look like scars on this second, supposedly protective skin. Recycling used materials is a constant in Bircken’s œuvre, who worked as a fashion designer before turning to the visual arts in the early 2000s. And thus clothing and its significance to our self-concept continues to play a major role in her work. Bircken’s “army” becomes a symbol of the “damaged” yet resistant subject that does not radiate with immaculate perfection, but rather displays the traces of what it has experienced, for all to see.

Alexandra Bircken New Model Army, 2016UAB 1104-1107

Further collection artworks

Mike KelleyHalo of Mastery, 1989UAB 220
Mike Kelley Halo of Mastery, 1989
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, XII: Beer Bottle with Baby and Terrier, 2006UAB 634 12 I 13
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, XII: Beer Bottle with Baby and Terrier, 2006
Andy Warhol Still Life (Hammer and Sickle), 1976UAB 546
Andy Warhol Still Life Hammer and Sickle, 1976
Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975UAB 528
Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975
Monika Baer On hold (dregs), 2015UAB 1053
Monika Baer On hold (dregs), 2015