The Powderbox Girls are readymades by Mimi Berlin, 2016. Mixed media with found and collectable objects, which (like Mimi Berlin’s Random Stories) are treasured in plastic cubes. In some of the cubes all the items have been left untouched entirely; no glue or other adhesives that can damage items (such as the collectable compact powder boxes or the halfdolls). All the boxes are sealed with a gold filled seal, if you break the seal, and open the box, the sculpturettes inside will fall apart. The ‘Powder Box Girls’ are part of Mimi Berlin’s ‘Fuck Flat’ series.
The ‘Powder Box Girls’ stand tall in their windows; flaunting bodyparts like there’s no tomorrow. Shamelessly they try to haul anyone who passes them by into their tiny rooms. Shine and glitter is all that matters in these shopwindows.
Yes, you guessed right, these girls are for sale; they work the red-light district by night.
And by night only; they are different from the other ‘scarlet women’. You must know that these girls of pleasure have dayjobs as well. Working during the day is very important to them, without these jobs they couldn’t work as prostitutes. For them society is turned upside-down. The ‘Powder Box Girls’ feel they’re going to miss out on a very big slice of life if they haven’t at least spent 5 years taking care of an other person’s sexual needs, for money. Needless to say, the Powder Box Girls (and their believes) are a just a small group of sex-workers. They fit neatly into one “building”; The ‘Fuck Flat’.
Gorgeous Librarian, 2016, Mixed media (plastic cube, 1920s porcelain halfdoll, Dutch pocket dictionary, 1st pressing/Meulenhoff ca 1950) 9 x 9 cm. All items have been left untouched, no glue or any other permanent adhesives have been used. If you open the gold filled seal this sculpturette will fall apart.Her Story: This is Delia, she suffers from severe memory loss. Her daytime job as a librarian can be done easily; she just looks up everything she needs to know, again and again. Her speciality at night is bondage. This gorgeous librarian likes to experiment with plastic elastics, the ones she gets from the mailman. Delia thinks it’s a more friendly way to tie people down; that is not the case of course. She knows that, but she forgets. It’s never a valuable lesson for Delia when one of her clients turns blue, but they keep coming back for more.
Pinky Palace, 2016, Mixed media (plastic cube, Avon compact powder box, 1980s candle holder marked Arzberg, sponge, celluloid toothing rings, elastic hairband, plastic and perspex) 9 x 9 cm. All items have been left untouched, no glue or any other permanent adhesives have been used. if you open the gold filled seal this sculpturette will fall apart.
Her story: this is Joan, by day she is an interior designer, her favorite style is Hollywood Regency. Her nighttime workplace is decorated to the max, the color scheme of her window completes her physique so well that everybody just stares and admires the beauty of it all. No customer has ever seen her room from the inside. Joan doesn’t mind, she knows her window is only a facade, her tiny work room is just as plain as any other room in ‘The Fuck Flat’
Meeting Point, 2016, Mixed media (plastic cube, Miniaturfigur Preiser, made in Germany / Fake Chanel ‘CC’ pocket mirror / ‘Auto-coat’ glass window sign from De Bonneterie, Amsterdam. A genuine Chanel button.) 13 x 13 cm. All collectable items have been left untouched, no glue or any other permanent adhesives have been used. If you open the gold filled seal this sculpturette will fall apart.
Her story: This is Jean, she is a shop-a-colic, by day and by night. She mostly finds her customers at the Shopping Mall near the “Meeting Point”, often she is almost by herself, but when she finds a client she takes him, or her, to the back alley for a quicky. And yes, that is specialty!
Mom Maria, 2016, Mixed media (plastic cube, 1920s porcelain halfdoll, marked ‘foreign’. Compact powder box ‘Vogue’ 1970s, petit trinketbox with portrait of a boy, latex, oversized pin.) 10 x 10 cm. All items have been left untouched, no glue or any other permanent adhesives have been used. If you open the gold filled seal this sculpturette will fall apart.
Her story: This is Maria, she is a secluded person and does her job at night in an anonymous way; she covers her face with latex. Maria was a stay-at-home mom by day, but her son just died. She is still in mourning so she visits his grave most of the time, Actually, she visits every day and brings flowers.
Sleeping Beauty, 2016, mixed media (1950s ceramics, celluloid mirror, perspex, elastic hairband, plasic, led lamp) 20 x 13 cm. All items have been left untouched, no glue or any other permanent adhesives have been used.
Her story: This is Ulli, she is the sleeping beauty and she’s the odd one out; Ulli doesn’t have her own cube. This girl suffers from narcolepsy so it’s impossible for Ulli to have a dayjob, that’s why she is the only Powderbox Girl who “works” by day and by night. Customers try to wake her up by kissing her, by pulling the elastic or any other way they fancy. It seems like this girl knows no pain. The mirror ensures that she’s still breathing.
Stripper Pole, 2016, Mixed media (plastic cube, 1920/30s etched glass, porcelain legs marked “Deutschland”, 1960s metal compact powder box) 9 x 9 cm.
Her Story: This is Sella, aka ‘La Giraffa’
Sella is a top fashion model by day. At night Sella works as a striptease dancer, specialized in spinning the dancing pole. From the day she was born on, Sella was most known for her remarkable legs; they were so long that they earned her the nickname ‘La Giraffa”
Lady Dice, 2016, Mixed media (plastic cube, 1920s/1930s porcelain halfdoll, $1 bill, 1950s compact powder box) 9 x 9 cm.
Her story: Lady Dice, but her name is Tina, by day she earns her living with gambling; hence the nickname ‘Dice’. Tina is popular, she gets the most tips. She thinks it’s a blessing, but it’s not. Yes you guessed right: Tina’s Tips are being swallowed at the crap table every day. Tina compromises her position behind her window at night; nobody knows for sure if she will be present, up till now she missed 7 shifts.
Vanity, 2016, Mixed media (plastic, 1920/30s etched glass, porcelain halfdoll, 1950s metal compact powder box) 9 x 9 cm.
Her story: This is Loulou, she is from Germany. Her day job is taking care of children at the daycare center in the local gym. Loulou is one of 6 sisters, so during the night she likes to just take care of herself. The customers she attracts are the ones who like to watch
Debby, 2016, Mixed media (plastic cube, 1940s/50s porcelain Dutch souvenir wooden shoe, fur, anodised aluminium, 1960s metal powderbox, biscuit porcelain) 9 x 9 cm.
Her Story: This is ‘Debby’, she was born in the smallest village in The Netherlands. During the daytime she is an estheticienne. At night, next to having plain sex for cash, she takes care of her colleauges by tyding up their hair. Debby likes to shave eyebrows off, cut long hair short and she loves pushing haircoloration to it’s limits.
Her Story: This is Gloria she is a retired Marathon Dancer. She once was the, record-holding, queen of so-called ‘dance marathons’. Gloria quit these endurance movement contests after her partner Homer danced himself to death (after they danced for 98 hours non-stop). In her heyday Gloria always repaired her own, danced-down shoes: that’s how she learned the basics of shoecrafting. The dayjob of this retired, prizewinning dancer is shoe designer. At night she still dances for money (faking the endurance part of the marathons ofcourse) and at the same time she promotes her designs. You know: sex sells. Most of her clients are sadistic men and women with a fetish for shoes.