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Untitled (Peep Show) by Anna Gaskell

Untitled (Peep Show), designed 2001
paper pop-up book/toy
open: 6 h. x 7.5 w x 1 d., inches
limited edition


For this edition, Gaskell revived the antiquated form of the "peep show," in the form of a toy-like device resembling a private, miniature theater that was popular in the 19th-century. Untitled (Peep Show) opens to reveal a scene inside the bellows of a deep, mossy well inhabited by siren-like figures gesturing toward a floating body that appears to be beyond their grasp. When the piece is flipped over, a hole in the back reveals the floating body. The photographs for this project were taken by Gaskell at the Netherworld Well on the grounds of Villa Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal, built in the late 19th-century. The design of the well and the surrounding gardens are based on Dante's Inferno.