A loose sheet in English, circa 1962, Photograph: Louise Bourgeois Archive, New York, and the Easton Foundation
From a 2012 exhibtion, The Freud Museum London
Description via The Guardian: “Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed, showcases the psychoanalytical musings of the late French sculptor alongside a selection of artworks. It takes place at the former home of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis – where one of her signature spider sculptures has taken up residence in the back garden.
Intensely focused on psychology and the complexities of the family as an artist, Bourgeois undertook psychoanalytic therapy for three decades, though she kept that fact a secret. The exhibition is inspired by the discovery of four boxes of loose sheets in 2004 and 2010 that revealed it for the first time.”
The two heads in Imaginary bridge have the appearance of anonymous wooden mannequins. There are certain peculiarities about these heads, however, such as the brow of the male head folding over the long, straight nose, and the bobbed haircut of the female head, which invite us to identify them as caricatures of the artist herself and Raoul Hausmann (1886-1971), with whom she had a stormy personal relationship from 1915 until 1922-23.
Hausmann made the mannequin head a central image of his own work. In his sculpture The spirit of our times1919 (Musée National d’art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris) Hausmann attached various gadgets to a real wooden mannequin head to express the robotic existence he perceived in contemporary city-dwellers. In his drawing Portrait of Felixmüller 1920 (Nationalgalerie, Berlin), he drew the head of the artist as if reduced to mannequin impersonality, sitting on a square base exactly like those seen in Imaginary bridge. For Hausmann the mannequin head was a vehicle for satire. In Imaginary bridge Höch seems to have taken over Hausmann’s satirical image and turned it back on its author, perhaps to describe an uneasy personal confrontation.
“Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.” ― Hiroshi Sugimoto