Video

Headless Girls Movie

Conversations #1: at the Park. Filmed and directed by Wendelien Daan, art direction by Mimi Berlin.

Mimi Berlin and photographer Wendelien Daan collaborated on the photo series Headless Girls. They imagined two women who used to work being a circus act (headless girls) in the 20th century. The inspiration source for this series is The History of Circus Legends; a group of surreal circus figurines, unique readymades made by Mimi Berlin.

This movie is available in HD.

The women are wearing silk scarves designed by Mimi Berlin. (which are handmade MimiMerchandise, made in a limited edition of 50 pieces, they are 90 x 90 cm and digitally printed on 100% silk twill, finished with a hand rolled seam. €175,- Available at X-Bank in Amsterdam and online at mimiberlin.amsterdam)

 

History of Circus Legends

History of Circus Legends, a series of statuettes by Mimi Berlin SPECIALS. All assemblies are made with carefully selected vintage-de-luxe products from the 20th Century. They are unique pieces signed by Mimi Berlin. (click images for more details)

Each statuette of the History of Circus Legends series actually has a history: Read the sad history of La Jeune Marletta, Ice Skater HERE, the story of Dinky, the Headbalacer HERE, and watch Titty Trapeze at work HERE

Titty Trapeze: The Story.

Titty Trapeze by Mimi Berlin

Titty Trapeze: The Story.

Titty Trapeze, Nude Trapeze Artist; (née Mary Wilson, 1905 Chesterton, UK-1982, Las Vegas, USA)

Titty Trapeze, the act, was actually the work of two people: Mary and Bob Wilson. This couple designed the act Titty Trapeze to cater their own fetishes, taking it to the extreme in public. Mary was born in an astronomical family(1) she inherited the love for being a star high up in the sky. Mr Wilson had very dominant tendencies(2), which were also rooted in his youth. Needless to say; this circus act was actually rated triple X, but only if you paid attention to the details.

Titty Trapeze was a semi-nude trapeze act, for which Bob Wilson designed two special nipple piercings (they were the size of bracelets) for his wife Mary. Dangling from these hoops was a metal chain, which was draped to Mrs Wilson’s backside to mimic a swing. A sack was placed over her head, so she appeared to be headless. (but was in fact anonymous) Furthermore; her arms were blackened by make-up, emphasizing the ‘free floating effect’. Mrs Wilson swung just above the heads of the (standing) audience so they could almost touch her toes.

Needless to say Mary’s Mama’s dropped to her knees at the early age of 25. But by this time the couple had already turned their backs to the Circus and took on performing a less physically demanding act: Salomé. The dance performance Salomé was already a very popular act in the 1910s.(3) The Wilson’s modernized it a bit: Mary danced, fully clothed, with Bob’s head in her hands. (it was his turn to wear a black sack as costume; it was pulled over his body leaving only his head visible to the audience) The Salomé routine was a succes, revived by the Wilson’s and re-gaining it’s popularity at many Vaudeville and Strip shows(4). Performing this act well into the 1970s; they lived happily ever after and died on the same day in the middle of the Nevada desert, during a storm.

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Titty Trapeze is part of the History of Circus Legends a series of unique figurines handmade by Mimi Berlin.
Mimi Berlin, 2013. Titty Trapeze, (1970s ceramics, 1920s mother of pearl, resin & metal, beads in sweet water pearl and copper) 14,5 x 8 cm.

Titty Trapeze: The Story is written by Mimi Berlin. Loosely based on the life of Bob and Ethel Granger and other unbelievable historical accurate events and people.

(Image: Titty Trapeze in Action. Titty Trapeze at work; watch her move high above the ground…..gif by Appdikted.)

Notes:
(1)The Grangers of Peterborough – an astronomical family Authors: Atwell, R. Journal: Journal of the British Astronomical Association, vol.100, no.5, p.214-217 Bibliographic Code: 1990 JBAA..100..214A (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1990JBAA..100..214A)
(2)http://www.ethelgranger.com|
(3)Blue Vaudeville: Sex, Morals and the Mass Marketing of Amusement, 1895–1915 By Andrew L. Erdman (published by McFarland). Page 108 (https://books.google.nl/books?id=b_VTCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=salome+strip+act&source=bl&ots=zYnNVcTiQm&sig=1o_XlcZ920e-v_fKXQdIbciy-A0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN2P_XzdfVAhWLKFAKHS0oBFEQ6AEITDAG#v=onepage&q=salome%20strip%20act&f=false)|
(4)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lili_St._Cyr

 

 

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The story of the Mounted Lady Trumpeteer

Mounted Lady Trumpeteer (neé Darlene D’amour, 1918, Nice- 1938.)

The taxidermy of Darlene D’amour was found in a tiny museum, or cabinet of wonders if you will. She was placed in a vitrine including, amongst other oddities, a model steam boat in Amsterdam(1). After years of researching her story came to life.

Darlene D’amour was a member of the European musical act Bubblé Jeunesse D’oree (bubbles golden youth), managed by O.Bartik(2) This was really an astonishing act: Three women playing the trumpet under water wearing mini dresses. They were set in a huge aquarium filled with brass flowers and golden glitter. This act was an expensive one, and thus didn’t become as populair as it should have been.

At some point Darlene, allegedly, unfortunately cut her ankle at one of the brass leaves and lost her foot(3) and she bled to death in the water tank.
The underwater act was obviously cursed and the aquarium was too large for 2 people; the act vanished. (yes, it literally bled to death, duh.)

Mister Bartik did continue showing the taxidermy of Darlene D’amour’s body and named her the
‘Mounted Lady Trumpeteer’. Believe it or not but he sold her foot, including golden shoe to a ‘harem keeper’. The foot of Darlene Love ended up in a whorehouse named ‘The Harem’, where it was placed in the middle of the main room to set an example for women who were thinking of escaping.(4)
The horror of it all!

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Mimi Berlin, 2013. History of Circus Legends. Lady Trompeteer. ( 1920s ceramic, plastic, copper, glass, cello-tape, rubber, water) ø7.5/4.5 x 27 cm,

Mounted Lady Trumpeteer: The Story is written by Mimi Berlin. Very loosely based on an advertisement in Billboard magazine 1906, on musician Darlene Wright, and on the private collection of Freundin T.

Notes:
(1) This statuette is part of the private collection of Freundin T. since 2013.
(2) The Billboard, 22 September,1906. http://www.circushistory.org/Pdf/Billboard22Sep1906.pdf
(3) The Foot of Darlene Love, History of circus Legends by Mimi Berlin, 2013.
(4) The No Harm Harem, a series of statuettes by Mimi Berlin.

Mimi Berlin, 2013. Mounted Lady Trumpeteer, Mixed Media ( 1920s ceramic, plastic, copper, glass, cello-tape, rubber, water) ø7.5/4.5 x 27 cm.
The Mounted Lady Trumpeteer is part of the History of Circus Legends, a series of unique figurines handmade by Mimi Berlin.

The story of Dinky the Head Balancer

Dinky, Headbalancer, (neé ? a Deaf Albino Rabbit)

Dinky was a pet bunny owned by The LaMothe Trio, circus performers and brothers with a head and hand balancing act.(1) Dinky was born an albino and was deaf to both ears. The brothers didn’t eat him like they usually did with animals, no, nothing but good fortune came to Dinky througout his life!
The LaMothe brothers concealed his dissability, or rather made the most out of it, by covering Dinky’s ears with pink jars (matching his red eyes). These jars enabled Dinky to stand on his ears for hours. This was the way he made himself useful; balancing upside down during the entire, ten minute, act of the LaMonte Trio. This unknown but legendary rabbit was almost a mini sideshow by himself.

Notes:
(1)
Billboard 22 September, 1906

The sad story of La Jeune Marletta

La Jeune Marletta, Ice Skater  (Born a nameless orphan, Chicago, USA. 19??/1915 )

La Marletta was adopted by Bernhard Salchow (Father of Ulrich Salchow, the inventor of the jump bearing his name(1) He adopted the little child, after immigrating to the United States from Sweden, leaving his blood related family behind, in 1910. Mr Salchow started training La Marletta (then believed to be approximately four years of age) immediately after he found her. This fierce ice skating trainer taught her to do a Grande Jetez followed by a Salchow with an extra 3/4 rotation. She performed this jump-set many times at  various Vaudeville shows in the group act; Gisele on Ice, directed by Mr Salchow himself. She was the first female performer to execute the Salchow jump, a fact often mistakenly credited to Theresa Weld, who performed it at the 1920 Summer Olympics.

Doom came upon her at the young age of five years (or one year after she had been adopted). During her performance of Gisele on Ice her partner failed to catch her after her perfectly executed jump set. She crashed to the ground, as she lay still on the ice the entire corps de ballet went on with the show, and skated over her petite body. Marletta’s spine was badly bruised, her neck was fiercly dislocated and her upper teeth moved back and forth, her feet were cut of at her ankles. She was hospitalized for 12 months but never recovered, La Jeune Marletta died (presumably) at the age of six years.

To preserve her delicate, broken body she is kept in water, to remain a memory frozen in time.

Notes
(1) Ulrich Salchow

©Mimi Berlin, La Jeune Marletta, Ice Skater. 2013. 1920s glass, 1970s ceramic and plastic, water. 6.5 x 11 cm.

La Jeune Marletta is part of the History of Circus Legends. View the complete series History of Circus Legends HERE

More Circus Acts

Click images for more information and to enlarge.

These circus acts are so bizarre and unbelievable they needed a statue to keep their history alive. Cry Baby, Fat Caged Pierrot, Woman in Lightbulb and Robot Clown were on show at Woth, The Hague and at Tetterode Treasures, Amsterdam, Holland.

The Story of Clements the Contorsionist

Clements the Contorsionist. (neé Clements de Marlo 1902-1993, Bremen)

From the 1910s through the 1930s this celebrated contorsionist performed his magic at circus and vaudeville circuits around the world. He is credited by circus historians as creating several new contortion (or bending) acts. The most populair being “Frog’s Paradise”(1) which Clements created in 1911.

Was he a man without any bones? No, he inherited his talent. Mr de Marlo’s vertebrae didn’t scrape together, so the muscles and ligaments in his spine allowed the vertebrae to stretch lots and lots of inches apart. On top of that Clements started training his unusual body at the correct age of four years old. Mr de Marlo’s was also a stuntman in silent films for the actor John Barrymore, doubling for acrobatic shots and fencing.(2)

Notes
(1)Circus and the City: New York, 1793-2010 (2)New York Times, June 4, 1993

©Mimi Berlin, Contorsionist, 2013, Mixed media (1990s/1980s ceramic, bakelite) 7 x 8.5 cm.

Dolly the Well Done Lamb: Her Story

The predictive story of Dolly (taxidermy, replica)

After World War I ended, there were lots of dressed up (sheep) sculptures(1) to be found at the sideshows. They were created to remember the Dolly Sisters after they moved from the USA to France. The Dolly Sisters were very populair twins, socialités, dancers and singers at the Ziegfeld Follies, the seductive glamour they brought on stage abroad was highly missed in the US of A. Hence the creation of numerous well done embellished dressed up sheep. These taxidermies or statuettes were often covered in faux pearls.(2) to copy the sisters original outfits, designed by a.o. Paul Poiret.

note: the choice for faux pearls is clear: these beads were at the height of fashion in those days. On the other hand why they used sheep remains a mystery.

Notes
(1)Bonhams Auctioneers, Demetre Chiparus, lot #78, 2012
(2)Mimi Berlin’s Evolutionairy Extravaganza.

©Mimi Berlin 2013. Lamb, Mixed media (1970s porcelain, signed Goebel W Germany 43, 1950s/1960s/1980s beads & gold filled metal, 1980s

Spotlights for Mimi Berlin’s Statuettes

Spotlights for Mimi Berlin’s Statuettes

100.000 Postcards

Mimi Berlin x Laser 3:14 Postcards. YES! Our Head Balancer will be printed in an edition of 100.000 postcards by Boomerang Cards who came up with an assignment to create a design inspired by a poem written by Laser 3.14. We, at Mimi Berlin thought our picture of the Head Balancer statuette would be a fun match to the “Bunny Suits” poem by Laser 3.14, so did the graffiti artist, he chose our image to be the winning one. The postcards will be distributed throughout The Netherlands and can be found in various bars, clubs, cinema’s and restaurants, for free. We suggest you get our card as soon as possible! What the heck, get yourself a dozen!

Mimi Berlin’s Statuettes featured in Harper’s Bazaar Magazine

Titty Trapeze, Head Balancer and Horseback Rider are presenting high-end products by Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Cartier in Harper’s Bazaar NL Magazine (December 2014 issue)

Textile View magazine (issue #107/Autumn 2015)

The History of Circus Legends in a Trend Forecast
Textile View magazine (issue #107/Autumn 2015

Mimi Berlin’s History of Circus Legend was ON trend.
Textile View is a seasonal trend magazine for fashion professionals,
it contains “trend forecast for the respectively four upcoming seasons concerning colours, materials, design and styling for women’s, men’s and children’s wear, including street and retail reports, reports on merchandising, as well as analysis of consumer behaviour and its influence on fabric and fashion trends. Bi-annual specials about colour and design trends for yarns and knitwear, Colour and design trends for yarns.”

See some press coverage for Mimi Berlin’s Statuettes HERE

Mimi Merchandise @mimimall.amsterdam

mimimalist mug by mimiberlin

Next to mimimall.me (this site) you can also visit mimimall.amsterdam. That’s Mimi Berlin’s department store, filled with friendly priced Mimi Merchandise, created by Mimi Berlin. mimimall.amsterdam carries limited edition and made-to-order high quality products as well as low-end mass produced items. Below a selection of what we have in store today.

click images for detailed information or to enlarge

goto:mimimall.amsterdam
visit the mimimall.amsterdam. Mimi Berlin’s online Depatment Store,
for more details and information, or to buy the products.

mimimall.me zu hause
Or return to the homepage of mimimall.me

mimimall.me Unique Products made by Mimi Berlin; Anything we find inspiring to create.