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Paper Children 35 – 38

Hardy Hill


Paper Children 35 – 38 | Hardy Hill

Paper Children 35 – 38 is a photoseries made by Hardy Hill especially for his exhibition in the abandoned movie theatre in the Schuttershof building. These photographs are part of a larger body of works for which Hill cuts out drawn figures and subsequently documents them in different real-life settings. This specific series features the same person, endowed with wings but deprived of genitals, in what appear to be four film frames from the same motion picture, which follow each other in quick succession. In three of these frames, we see the artist’s hand, tearing off the wings of his own creation. In the last photograph we see our protagonist with completely torn-off wings. Most alarming about this entire scene, however, might be that the victim doesn't seem to be bothered by his mutilation. On the contrary, in Paper Children 38, the victim lustfully kisses the artist-perpetrator himself.

Paper children is also the name of an anime genre in which the well-known Japanese cartoon characters are cut out and staged in a way that makes it appear as if they participate in the surrounding, unscaled ‘real’ world. They often take pornographic poses; engaging, for example, in sexual activity with pencils, which are unsettlingly gigantic from the perspective of paper children. In these anime images, sexual desire and the pornographic seem to be abstracted to the extreme: generating an exciting, true-to-life illusion of the desired object has been replaced by a visual emphasis of its flatness and falsity.

Hill’s works are reminiscent of the famous Cottingley Fairies, a series of photographs of ‘fairies’ made in the first two decades of the previous century. Even though those images were made by two nieces of only 9 and 16 years old, they became world-famous because many came to see them as concrete evidence that supernatural beings existed. From a present-day perspective, it’s hard to believe that these naive-looking fairies caused so much uproar — just like the Paper Children, they were simply cut out of paper. While their postures are similarly stark, Hill’s ‘elves’ are many times more melodramatic and grimmer than their 20th-century predecessors.

Commissioned for


Hardy Hill


Rooms of Now is a project series in which an (inter)national artist is invited to create an artistic intervention in people's homes, in Middelburg. The title is borrowed from a photography project from the artist Maurice van Es, who realised the first edition of Rooms of Now. The series took place from 2019–2022.

Rooms of Now is the follow up of the public program So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood.

In 2015 Vleeshal kicked of its Nomadic Program, as an extension of its existing exhibition program in Middelburg. In its Nomadic Program Vleeshal goes on tour, organising exhibitions and other events in collaboration with venues in the Netherlands and abroad, such as Art Rotterdam, Amsterdam Art Weekend, the Spring Performance Festival, WIELS Art Book Fair, Brussels and Poppositions, Brussels.