No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
- Ingmar Bergman

March 10, 2014

Filmmaker About Town -- Laurie Simmons: Dollers video

Since this past week was "The Armory Show" in New York City, the city abounded with art openings.  One of the openings I checked out was Laurie Simmon's "Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See" Exhibit held at Salon 94 on the Bowery.

Kigurumi is a Japanese name that refers to costumed performers who represent cartoon characters, mostly animals. They perform in malls, for children's events etc.  However, in other circles, costumed performers dress up in masks and bodysuits as dolls, known as "dollers".   Simmons explored this subject matter for her project. Though she dressed them, dyed their hair and posed them, she did allow them to create their own gestures while in their costume. Her hope was that by wearing these costumes they would feel comfortable enough to reveal themselves in some manner.

Though most attending the opening concentrated on the work hanging inside of the gallery and speaking to the artist, I found the most interesting part of the show on the outside where a video of the dollers was being shown. My trusty iPhone allowed me to capture some of the color of the video shown.  See below.

If you are curious about this form of expression, there was a British doc done called "Secrets of the Living Dolls". This documentary follows men who masquerade as dolls (female maskers) for fun -- these maskers are heterosexual men who derive pleasure from dressing as women.  Many of these men have wives or girlfriends who are well aware of what they do and support it.

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