Forties to Seventies

1. Contained





2. In the store again, or en route

Lifesize plastic figures of snub-nosed children with dun-coloured, greenish, brown-dotted, faunish faces floated around me. I realized I was the only shopper in that rather eerie place where I moved about fish-like, in a glaucous aquarium..........................................

I sensed  strange thoughts form in the minds of the languid ladies that escorted me from counter to counter, from rock ledge to seaweed, and the belts and bracelets I chose seemed to fall from siren hands into transparent water.






3. Meatyard

Because he recognizes himself in an alter ego, the little boy can boldly assume his subjectivity; the very object in which he alienates himself becomes a symbol of autonomy, transcendence and power: he measures the size of his penis...but a little girl cannot incarnate herself in any part of her own body. As compensation, and to fill the role of alter ego for her, she is handed a foreign object: a doll...But it is a figurine with a human face - or a corn husk or even a piece of wood - that will most satisfyingly replace this double, this natural toy, this penis.

de Beauvoir

4. Testing times

Historians of the toy and collectors of dolls...have always had considerable difficulty in separating the doll, the child’s toy,  from all  the other images and statuettes which the sites of excavation yield up in wellnigh industrial quantities...How many times have we been shown ‘toys’ which were in fact miniature replicas of familiar objects placed in tombs... (Children) were not the only ones to use these replicas, what in modern times was to become their monopoly, they had to share in ancient times, at least with the dead.


5. Commodification / the Media

Loomis *


*Dean Loomis shows mannequins used in an A bomb test in 1956.




The whole life of those societies in which modern conditions of production prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has become mere representation.


*Helmut Newton shows Natassja Kinski with a Marlene Dietrich doll

**Marcia Resznik’s caption reads - She secretly lusted after her television idols.

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