The talented young journalist, poet, prose writer and translator Linor Goralik spent many years studying the social, economic and cultural factors behind the Barbie phenomenon. In The Hollow Woman, Goralik explains how and why this doll became a symbol of modernity and globalization.
Barbie so eloquently summarizes mass culture that she makes an easy target for artists looking for a medium to express their criticism of consumerist values. The result is hundreds of sculptures and photographs of Barbie dolls contorted, chopped up and otherwise molested. Goralik dismissed this art. "You take something that's clean and make it dirty," she said. "Very funny."
Goralik described her first reaction to Barbie in an interview last weekend. It was in Israel in 1989, shortly after the Goraliks had emigrated from the Soviet Union, and 14-year-old Linor was buying a present for a little girl. "First I saw a Barbie in a green dress, then I saw that there was a Barbie for every taste," Goralik recalled. "I remember thinking that these people were geniuses."