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What is a Doll?

What is a Doll?
2 Sussex Avenue, Innis College Deluxe Screening Room
Time: Mar 19th, 3:00 pm End: Mar 19th, 5:00 pm
Interest Categories: Women/Gender, Visual Studies (UTM), English (FAS), Drama, Theatre, Performance Studies (FAS), Comparative Literature (FAS), Cinema, Arts, Culture and Media (UTSC), Art (FAS), Architecture, Landscape, Design, 2000-
Film by Allen S. Weiss and Tom Rasky

The Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts on Things that Matter is pleased to present

What is a Doll?

A film by Allen S. Weiss and Tom Rasky

What is a Doll






















What is a doll? What is a doll? It's something strange. It's something in the shadows. It's something from the earth. It's something from the origin. It's something magical. It's something paternal. It's something forbidden. It's something from God. It's something distant. It's something without eyes. It's something animal. It's something birdlike. It's something silent. It's something eternal. It's something of mud. It's something of pebbles. Something vegetal. Something from childhood. Something cruel. Something joyous. Something screaming. Something mute. That's it!
- Michel Nedjar

This film is a work-in-progress that explores the mysteries and profundities of dolls, puppets and marionettes in the context of the grotesque rag dolls of contemporary French artist Michel Nedjar. It focuses on his studio and his vast collection of magic dolls and masks from around the world, and examines the role of the Holocaust in the artist's creative process. The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Allen S. Weiss (Performance Studies and Cinema Studies, NYU).

Allen S. Weiss is the author and editor of over forty books in the fields of performance theory, landscape architecture, gastronomy, sound art and experimental theater, including Phantasmic Radio (Duke University Press); Breathless: Sound Recording, Disembodiment, and the Transformation of Lyrical Nostalgia (Wesleyan University Press); Varieties of Audio Mimesis: Musical Evocations of Landscape (Errant Bodies Press). His radio work includes: L'Indomptable (a documentary on dolls for France Culture, with Gregory Whitehead); L'Art audiophonique aux USA (a series on audio art for France Musique); Glissando and Radio Giday? (respectively a drama and a soundscape for the Klangkunst program of Deutschlandradio Kultur, the latter with Daisuke Ishida); and Carmignano (an audio essay for Radio Papesse, Florence). He directed Theater of the Ears (a play for electronic marionette and taped voice based on the writings of Valère Novarina), whose tour ended with a one-month run at the Avignon Off Festival; and Danse Macabre (a marionette theater for the dolls of Michel Nedjar), which appeared in three forms (performance, installation, theater) at the In Transit Festival of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. He recently published his first novel, Le Livre bouffon (Le Seuil), and his most recent books are the second volume of his culinary autobiography, Métaphysique de la miette (Éditions Argol) and Zen Landscapes: Perspectives on Japanese Gardens and Ceramics (Reaktion Books); forthcoming is The Grain of the Clay: Reflections on Ceramics and the Art of Collecting (Reaktion Books). He teaches in the Departments of Performance Studies and Cinema Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University.

This event is free and open to all.  Registration is not required.

This event is a part of the series Animate Entities: Objects in Performance. How do objects move in the space and time of live performance? What is the allure of animating ordinary or extraordinary things? How do performances transform the material world? Join us this March for two days of talks, exhibitions, screenings, and cabarets.

Animate Entities: Objects in Performance is sponsored by the Jackman Humanities Institute's Program for the Arts, with support from the Puppet Slam Network; Great Small Works; the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies; University College; the Department of Art; the Department of Visual Studies (UTM); the Department of English and Drama (UTM); the Cinema Studies Institute; the Centre for Comparative Literature; the Graduate Architecture, Landscape and Design Students Union; and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.


For more information, contact:
Gabriel Levine
SSHRC/CHCI Postdoctoral Fellow
Jackman Humanities Institute

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