Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baby Doll

Dolls, who doesn't like them?!? Me. Although I have always been fascinated with their major creep factor. Back in the day, my grandmother's prized possession was an antique doll that had 'Clicky-Open Eyes' (original childhood horror name). Frightening. I inherited that doll and promptly sold it for $150. Anyway, I like the idea of dolls, I just don't want to give them a chance to form an evil army. So I don't feel they need to be hanging about...also, I think they would be especially angry with me when they found out that I disliked the color pink. 

Thick with meaning, dolls are. I frequently use dolls in my work. A doll symbolizes a body, usually a female body, and usually that is an ideal body of some kind.  This is also an ideal that cannot be reached. Dolls are fantasies of perfection. I think that the life of a doll is a good metaphor for where females are placed in the society. How we are perceived...all glitz and glam...something unreal. Or perhaps something entirely false, like a deceptively sweet trick.

I also feel that a doll being taken out of its toy box, or 'put away' is an interesting idea. When the favorite isn't around, one brings out the spare. There is always a spare. I wonder what the spare feels like when it has to go back into the toy box because the favorite has returned. Actually, I do know. It's a used, broken-down feeling; a helpless and desperate one.

Paper dolls are less scary but communicate many of the same concepts. They also say other things such as, 'I am just like the one that came before and the one that comes after. I am the same as any other, interchangeable.'  They still retain that essence of perfection however, crisp-lined and orderly as they Dolls are entirely, manufactured, representational, beings.  

So I have been thinking about using some dolls, specifically chains of paper dolls, in a piece or two. But I have a lot of things floating around in my head lately. We'll see how it all goes.

Tissue paper dolls, possibly the most fragile of all their species...

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