“What do humans need in order to love?” asks Julia Steinigeweg (1987, Germany). Does it require a shared exchange of emotion, or is love ultimately felt and experienced alone, individually?
Looking at relationships formed between humans and lifelike silicone dolls, Steinigeweg explores this existential question of human nature. By approaching the dolls photographically much as we approach human portraits, both formal and environmental, she draws our attention to the ambiguity of contact and the confusing nature of what it means to feel a connection. Through the dolls, physically material yet lifeless and insentient, we are better able to see ourselves.