I have always been fascinated by dolls and our relationships with them. I had a doll as a child. I shared it with my sister. This was, of course, a source of much pain within my family, because a boy was not meant to play with a doll. But one finds and loves friends where they can be found. There were passionate relationships between children and dolls. They are, I think, those first things--before pets--that we invest with love in a way we pray and hope will be given unto us. We live to see what our love does to this object, animate or otherwise. I think as we age, dolls become another relationship entirely: They can anchor our childhoods; they can allow us to control, to some extent, a life and our own aging process. One can layer or laminate upon a doll or a mannequin anything one desires: Any fashion; any design; any identity. And this is what we would like to do with ourselves. I think we would, many of us, like to be a perfect doll or mannequin--Buddhist one month; Christian Science the next. Gay one month; bisexual the next. Vegetarian one month; carnivore the next. And then we seem to have an epiphany, and we cast away our dolls. We are now grown up, enlightened. Or we die, and a new generation of heirs, unaware of the benefits of inanimate love, cast aside and discard our objects of affection. Estate sales, garage sales, and garbage dumps are dusty funerals for these objects. They lie now next to the dreams of those who once held them.
Tennessee Williams, Interview with James Grissom, New Orleans 1982.
El texto lo he hallado en este fantástico cuaderno, donde aparece acompañado de unas magníficas fotografías. Yo voy a aportar algo más a ese extraño, inquietante y poético mundo. No en vano un maniquí preside el salón.
Little girl with her doll sitting in the ruins of her bombed home, London, 1940
Artificial legs, UK, ca. 1890
Melted and damaged mannequins after a fire at Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London, 1930.
En la página del fotógrafo Christopher Crawford, encuentro una sección que él denomina The Doll House. El texto que sigue es la presentación del asunto. Las fotografías, 91 en total, no las reproduzco porque así lo pide el hombre y bastante tiene con lo suyo. Están aquí, para quien quiera verlas. No recuerdo un texto así, salvo en ciencia ficción.
Someone abandoned this house several years ago leaving behind nothing but bags of garbage, some broken furniture (there's a dresser that is literally broken down to a pile of boards!), and the 16 dolls that I found.
I'm always curious why a house is totally abandoned instead of being sold to someone who will live in it, rent it out, or tear it down and build something else. This one and its land were for sale, but it had been empty a long time before it went on the market.
The dolls, to me, are evidence of a sad story in some family's life. What little girl would leave all her dolls, her childhood friends, behind to rot away? Something terrible must have happened. I'm not trying to find out or reconstruct what caused the dolls to be there, that would be impossible.
I'm looking at how the dolls have coped with their abandonment and being forgotten by the child(ren) who once played with them. Loneliness is a part of my life. I have been alone all of my life, with no friends at all until I was in college and no love, ever. I have never been able to form relationships with women. In my adult years I have asked out more than 200 girls, every one of which turned me down, many with quite shocking cruelty. The few women I have dated, like my son's mentally ill mother, asked me out. None of them, except my son's mother, dated me longer than a month. My son's mother admitted to me that she used me to have a kid because she figured I was a "Nice guy" who would support the kid financially. She didn't want me at all. So, I no longer date anymore....I see couples together when my son and I go shopping or to restaurants, and I cannot help but think how foreign a concept it is to me that someone would be seen with me in public, or would hold my hand. I do have a small number of friends now, most badly messed up for similar reasons.
The dolls have found, in my story for them, friendship and family..love...even in bad times when things are bleak...what I have never known, and never can.
Para acabar, una visión menos sombría y más lúdica del mundo de las muñecas. La hija de J. F. Keneddy se adelanta a su papá, risueña, ajena al mundo adulto del poder; y su papá carga con la muñeca en la mano, rodeado de señores grises.