Barbie and Ken are not the happy couple they seem to be in a series of provocative photos to be shown in Vancouver next week.
Dina Goldstein's "In the Dollhouse" depicts the dissolution of the popular toys' marriage as Ken begins to discover his true self.
The photos will be shown at the Kimoto Gallery at 1525 West 6th Ave. from Oct. 29 to Nov. 15 as part of the Capture Photography Festival.
Goldstein, a Vancouver-based photographer, has drawn international notice for "Fallen Princesses," a project that put a dark twist on the Disney princess narrative, but she remains relatively unknown at home.
That could change when she shows Barbie and Ken's failing marriage in her own city for the first time.
Check out Dina Goldstein's "In the Dollhouse." Story continues below the slideshow:
"I think a lot of artists believe that's the way it works around here," Goldstein told The Huffington Post B.C.
"You go and you become known and then your city accepts you."
"In the Dollhouse" begins by showing Barbie and Ken as a content couple before he begins to outgrow his place in their relationship.
"Here we have Barbie, who is really the most successful one in the marriage," Goldstein said.
"I think (Ken) just gets to the point where he's sick of it all, and he's also come to the realization that he wants to be his authentic self and he's no longer the bitch, per se."
Ken slowly adopts more feminine traits, reading fashion magazines, hogging the bathroom mirror and shaving his legs in the bathtub.
Eventually Barbie catches him in an affair with another man, prompting her to put on a man's suit and cut off all her hair, mystified at the turn in their marriage.
Goldstein said the photos aim to show a futile pursuit of perfection.
"If everyone's striving toward perfection, then there's bound to be disappointment," she said.
"If you expect everything to be perfect in your marriage, it's going to fail."
Goldstein is also showing "The XX: 20 Years in 20 Pictures," a retrospective of her photography career at her Vancouver studio at 1380 Napier St. until Nov. 15.
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