This doll was deemed too offensive to the public. It was too lifelike, too morbid and too “real”. Nevermind that it’s a miniature doll, or that Vampire and Zombie infants were completely acceptable at a public Library event called “Monster Fest”.
Mothers that have lost infants in childbirth were offended and I was asked to remove it from my vending table. Once again the question is asked: “Is Art Satanic?”
My little art doll sure was a topic of provocation, do I stay or do I go? Why continue to support an event that has an unspoken criteria of acceptable items? A library is full of information arcane and yet, when that knowledge is portrayed through material objects, it’s too offensive to know. Go figure.
October is a strange month, it’s a time for hallmark holiday fare and a time to react to figments of one’s own imagination. It used to just be the 8th month on the Roman calendar (mensis-months) then by the late 16th century, menses was adopted to describe the crisis of Women during menstruation. Sounds legit.
The baby doll itself is thought to be a ritual object. To little girls everywhere, it was a Mother’s way of teaching their daughters how to nurture to later become Mothers. If she mistreated her doll, it gave Mothers opportunity to correct the child’s behavior. While imagination is taken into account, I doubt the things imagined ever were, at least not in any real meaningful way. The battery of tortured dolls found in every household or garbage bin should demonstrate that dolls are objects to project upon.
I’ve never played with dolls in a traditional sense, they’ve always just represented intent. When I was given my first baby-doll, even then I knew it wasn’t really for me to have a doll to play with. It was a replica of that idea and like any poor emanation it tends to deteriorate over time. I received a doll just like the girl next door, not because I wanted it but because “I” was to be just like the neighbor’s child. Watched-over to determine if that intent would thereby be projected upon me.
I observed the girl next door for cues and wondered why I didn’t actually believe this was a “real” baby like she seemed to. Why, I asked myself, did pretending to put a doll to bed, change its diaper or rock it back and forth feel stupid and acting. Who was the act for?
If you’re caught not playing with your dolls like you should, you’re faced with demands and projected guilt: “Why aren’t you playing with that doll I bought you? You know, I spent a lot of money on it, it’s a collector’s item!”
What’s a little girl to do? Meet expectations, play-act to satisfy the demand, or collect ritual objects?
For me it was the latter, which is why I don’t know that I qualify as a doll-collector.
When I see a discarded doll at a yard sale or thrift that catches my eye, I feel impelled to alter it. They don’t all end up like this, mostly they end up collected but changed in some manner, whether literally or metaphorically.
I do like dolls, some even make me giggle, like that little fat fucker that sits atop a kitchen shelf. The epitome of too much “Mangia!”
Perhaps even the mass produced doll is art, it does provoke me to project my ideas upon it (maybe even some paint). Art, some say, is magic and that every manifestation of it is a ritual object. If it can manage to alter your perception then it qualifies as authentic.
I’ve decided to keep this one and continue to contemplate whether it’s an art doll or just causality having been provoked by it.