Rapunzel, 2008

From the series “Fallen Princesses”, (2007 – 2009)

The series consists of 10 photographs depicting Disney Princesses and other Fairy Tale characters placed within a modern environment. The work examines elements of the human condition and creates metaphor out of the myths of fairy tales, forcing the viewer to contemplate real life: failed dreams, the fallacy of chasing eternal youth, obesity, Cancer, the extinction of indigenous cultures, pollution, ocean degradation and war. By embracing the textures and colors created by Walt Disney, which built a multi-billion-dollar empire exploiting these fairy tales, the work questions the notion of the idealistic ‘Happily Ever After’ motif, composed by Disney, and spoon fed to children throughout the world.

Persian Poet Ferdowsi wrote Shahnameh late in the 10th century; the epic poem included the first story to feature a woman lowering her hair to allow someone to climb up and gain entry to her home and is traced back to have likely inspired the Rapunzel fairytale. Many scholars have interpreted “Maiden in the Tower” stories, which Rapunzel is a part of, as a metaphor for the protection of young women from pre-marital relationships by overprotective guardians. The archetype has drawn comparisons to ancient tales depicting a Prince and a Maiden and the rivalry between the Maiden and a old Crone, representing death and winter. The cutting of Rapunzel’s hair is at the heart of the many iterations, and in many cases the fairy tale has been reduced to the fascination and beauty of Rapunzel’s long hair. In some cultures, long hair is associated with fortune, love and longevity. According to an evolutionary theory, the love of long hair stems from genetic programming. Long hair apparently signals “genetic strength and overall health” in a woman; therefore, men may be attracted to women with lengthy tresses as it implies that she is not only physically ideal but she has a likely chance to healthily reproduce. Goldstein reimagined and photographed Rapunzel, after learning that her mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The piece was the first to be photographed for the Fallen Princesses series. The overall tone of the image is somber as Rapunzel sits sick and hairless on a hospital bed with a downward gaze, IV tubes attached to her, indicating a serious illness. Beside her she keeps a symbol of her past vigor, a long blond braided wig.

With this series Dina Goldstein achieved her international breakthrough in the art market. The series brought Goldstein numerous TV appearances and contributions and made her famous in a short time.

Watch here a few examples:
Fanny Kiefer Show
German TV
Spain Mega TV
CBS ART Canada

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