Let me just upload all of these here at once…
Not that I look to Hitler and Stalin for inspiration, but I definitely began by looking for photos which Stalin and Hitler’s administrations had edited to remove people that lost either dictator’s favor. It’s interesting that they viewed photographs as editable and changeable mediums of representation far before we had the appropriate software to remove things easily. It also gave me a sense of what I could accomplish in just beginning with the removal of objects; these photos had simple backgrounds or patterned objects which could have been simply recovered with paint or another material.
On the other hand, I loved the coconut headed monkey, the chopped fingers, and the drooling apple just because they had parts edited and removed to portray different aspects of the animal and remind the viewer with its different associations. The monkey recalled for me the “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” song, which is sung in the Lion King. The fingers being chopped is a common occurrence, but never all the way off, nor seemingly calm and intentional–the act of cutting oneself is rather violent but it is rendered well and seems structured. And for the apple, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” came to mind, with a possible image of an apple actually yelling or screaming to keep the doctor away.
It’s almost scary though, when looking at the Stalin/Hitler photos and realizing that Ikea has done the same thing–photographs to me usually convey a sense of place and reality, the least biased representation of a moment in time. And yet now I have to question whether or not to take something as simple as an advertisement in a catalog at face value.