Hannah Hoch - banner

Tamar 1930

Tamar depicts a mannequin figure of a women seated, arms crossed, looking down at a sea lion. Ultimately the pose suggests a domination over the sea lion which is much smaller in scale compared to the mannequin. Yet the tamer appears to sit in a meditative pose, while the sea lion engages the viewer with a sly, uncanny gaze. Upon closer inspection the seal lion is wearing makeup, and the mannequin appears porcelain like and looks quite passive. Moreover, the eyes of both sea lion and mannequin look almost the same, unifying the two images. These contradictions promotes confusion about who really is dominant the mannequin or the sea lion.

Hoch poses the question which pair of eyes is engaging the viewer. First we see pair of eyes and then the other. In this way the viewer is confused between subject and object.. Hoch uses this confusion in terms of gender, posing the question - are we viewing a representation of self or other.