MDVANII AT THE HALLE SAINT PIERRE MUSEUM, PARIS, 2004
The Doll Imbued With Powers
Long before becoming the exclusive symbol of childhood, the dolls have evolved trough the centuries on the side of humans, transposing their metaphysical anxieties as well as their most profane preoccupations.
Long associated with ritual and magic pratises, dolls were one of the numerous forms that men used as a medium towards the expression of the sacred. Then, liberated from the religious context by following the natural process of desacralization of the western societies, the dolls of the modern men have, with time, found their way outside the blessed temples. Conceived to spread the fashions, to assure regional or ethnic identification, they express a secularized world of which they follow the multiple social and technical evolutions.
Receiving ends of obsolete symbols, they nevertheless find in return a whole system of symbols in action in the socialization of the child and in the artistic expression. Their multiple language always keeps a primary orientation, which is to serve as a go-between two worlds. Hybrid objects between the real and the simulacrum, the animated and the unanimated, the toy and the fetish, the sacred and the profane, dolls only deliver their message through the ambiguity of their nature, of their fonctions and of their powers.
Curator of La Halle Saint Pierre
With the Works of
BillyBoy* et Lala
"Why deny it? They have been thrown into a shabby life. A shabby and wandering life. But instead of being saddened by it, they are gloating. This public misfortune is the luck of their lives. A brand new life, of which they relish each moment. They have only one fear, but it cannot happen to them: to be sent back in the children's bedrooms, to find again the doll's tea parties, the classrooms to their size, the music rooms and the dance teachers, the forced labour of gardening or peeling, the surprise parties, the first kiss, Blue-Beard, Snow-White, Bleuette and Bécassine, big silly nonsense, small damages, all the punishing, being thrashed, smacked, put on bread and water, deprived from beach, promenades, movies, conversation, put in boarding school, in jail, suffocated, gagged, locked in cupboards the size of biscuit boxes.
Little girls get bored at fleamarkets. They want beautiful display cases and brand new dolls. They demand the newest models. They stamp their feet, scream and are fickle. Dolls in fleamarkets bury their faces in their long black hair and smile to themselves. Put along an alley or on a canal, they wander about the journey of tomorrow.
"Where Are The Dolls?", excerpt.
(Translated by J.P.L)
Catalogue: “POUPEES”, Albums Haute Enfance, Gallimard, with texts by Martine Desbioles, Colette Fellous, Pierre Péju, Chantal Thomas, Allen S. Weiss. Price: 34 Euros
Exhibition Review on page 2
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