Polish artist Aneta Grzeszykowska employs the body – both her own and others’ – to question the social norms surrounding identity in a manner that brings her practice into dialogue with the work of feminist artists including Alina Szapocznikow, Ana Mendieta, and Cindy Sherman. In the series Mama (2018), Grzeszykowska subverts the relationship between mother and daughter by portraying her own daughter interacting with an eerily lifelike silicone doll modelled after the artist. The child imitates and assumes a maternal role, bathing and embracing the doll, while simultaneously treating it like a toy: painting its face, burying it in the dirt, and carrying it around in a push wagon. Oscillating between a human being left to the haphazard actions of a young child and a mere object, the doll blurs the animate with the inanimate. The young girl’s affirmation of subjectivity, possession, and control over the corpse-like object – which evokes the fetishised figure of the docile Surrealist puppet – is amended here with the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship. Grzeszykowska’s doll symbolises a rupture in the constraints assigned to bodies and social roles, re-examining motherhood through an exploration of self-alienation.