Sunday, February 24, 2008

The grittypretty army stuff has been removed from the side bar.

I don't know if it will be for a short nap or a season's sleep...
but it's been a long time since i've felt compelled to make a doll.

So this is the last lullaby to a drowsy obsession. and really it's just a reminder to myself that once upon a time i would feel sick if i didn't make a doll body before breakfast.


GrittyPretty refers to a homemade Army of Dolls

they normally reside in a trunk but the street art dollies have been deployed. Some have returned with mission accomplished. More to come...

It's nearly been a year since mailing off dolls to people all over Utah Valley in an effort to raise money for the food and care coalition's new facility.

Here are some of the dolls (there were a total of 145 ish at one point.)
This is the card that was sent out with them.
their pinafores said quotes from my journals such as "Everybody knows Victoria's secret"etc.

below is their exhibit statement. oh how tedious artist's statements can be. call it superstition but the academic world trains you that someone somewhere has the power to revoke your art degree if these statements are not taken seriously.

"Army of Me" The Propoganda Dolls

My mother is from Argentina. When I was little she collected dolls from different South American countries. She would put a safety pin on the back and hang them around my room. Some of my friends thought they were scary voodoo dolls but I preferred their handmade look and now love making my own dolls.

Those of you familiar with the myth surrounding Pandora's Box know that the contents of the box are unexpected. However, unlike the mythic box, the contents of the trunks for the exhibit will not flood the world with plagues. Instead the opening of the trunks has unleashed an Army of Dolls. The Army can be divided into three groups (starting from oldest to most recently made): the Rag Tag Grassroots Dolls, the Elite Force and the Cocoons. The Rag tag Grassroots Dolls are the individualistic dolls while the Elite Force have the longest gowns. The Cocoons are the dolls in metamorphosis. Some of them are fast asleep while others are awakening, suggesting their imminent reemergence as new creatures.

All of the statements on the dolls' pinafores are excerpts from my journals. As the specific context of the chosen statements has been eliminated, the comments are meant to be universal enough to editorialize on the human condition. The army is a collective metaphor of the aspect of myself that feels compelled to journal writing and object making. I call The Army "propaganda" as it propagates ideas and strives to reinforce viewpoints. Curiously enough, The Army and propaganda in general have comparable side effects; for while possessing a pedantic tone, the individual dolls also tend to contradict each other. The theatricality of the dolls points to an ironic discourse on both propaganda and the "will to power" (in so much as one recognizes that while propaganda may seem authoritative, it, or the "will to power" must ultimately not be taken too seriously). In some ways individual dolls signify shortsightedness while The Army represents the antidote in that it enables one to see that at present the propaganda of the self offers no real "final word"; The Army grows and shifts.

I made the dolls without initially knowing why but possible influences include: William Blake's fusion of text and image, a friends description of Friedrich Nietzche's The Will to Power, Bjork's song Army of Me, Jenny Holzer's Truisms and Inflammatory Essays, Magdalena Abakonowitz, the Statuettes at the Temple of Abu, Soldiers of the Imperial Bodyguard from the tomb of the Emperor Shi Huangdi, and most importantly, my mother.

Further Acknowledgments:

Abundant thanks goes to my mom and abuelita (my Argentine Grandmother). They taught me how to knit. In fact, quite a few of the Rag Tag Grassroots Dolls are a collaborative effort. I handed them many of the dolls for which they would design and knit an outfit. i thought it significant that they help me dress the bodies as they have dressed me both literally and metaphorically. I inherited many of the fabrics and laces used, symbolic of the inescapable impact of past generations. Also, thanks goes to Rachel Gray, Ben Huff, and Brandy Wilkins for generously donating their hair.

Go to sleep and good night to my dear grittypretty dollies!


pamo said...

i am totally inspired by your dolls. really. it's one of the most interesting projects i've ever seen.

Quel said...

pamo- THANKS! your words are much appreciated.