the doll universe

... a conversation, a performance, a book ...


Examining the doll-image … clarifies at the outset that the doll cannot be perceived as a reflection of infantile innocence, nor of a-sexual beauty, but is, by necessity, an impossible materialization … constituting an image in which pleasure and displeasure, living beauty and uncanny inanimation, are conflated together with their opposites. From a psychoanalytic point of view the doll, in its artistic imagining, can indeed be seen as the place where beauty and the shattering of innocence coalesce, where pleasure (associated with childhood games, for instance) is tied with an uncanny feeling (possibly associated with an air of sexuality or of secretiveness effectuated by the doll). It is along these lines that an alternative to the idea of modernism as overstepping the aesthetic values of pleasure and beauty can be suggested.

— Ruth Ronen, Look the Doll in the Eyes: the Uncanny in Contemporary Art

“My name is Talky Tina, and I don’t think I like you.”

The Twilight Zone, Episode 126, “Living Doll”
We pulled our dolls along behind the bars of our crib, dragged them into the heavy folds of illness. They appeared in dreams and were tied up in the disasters of feverish nights. They did notmake any effort of their own; they were lying at the edge of childhood sleep, maybe filled withrudimentary thoughts of falling off, and they let themselves be dreamed. Just as they wereaccustomed to be lived tirelessly through someone else’s power during the day. Rainer Maria Rilke, “Dolls,” in Werke (Frankfurt a/Main, 1966), 3:534