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nude doll [a short discourse]

'nude doll' [a short discourse]


Thursday May 14th [09]


I am taking my regular walk to the local village of Longton, for stamps, food, beverages and sundry items.


On this particular route there is a childrens clothes shop [which also sells wool and crafting materials]. I have never had occasion to photograph the shop, its contents or anything related to it.


Today, as I was walking past, I sudddenly noticed the mannequins in the window were unclothed and, quite surreally, headless. Of course the camera was instantly turned on and I began to take pictures of the window display.


Deep in the recesses of the shop, I could see a vague shape, it was the proprietor, a woman of late middle age. She seemed to be agitated, I thought nothing of it.


Some seconds later, my eye fixed to the viewfinder, I heard the shop door open. The proprietor emerged, looking quite vexed. She fixed me with a gaze and asked [in a quite disparaging and terse tone]:


'What on earth do you think you're doing?'


I replied:


'I'm taking photographs.'


She continued:


'Why are you taking pictures of nude dolls?'




'Because the subject is interesting.'




I think it's perverted!'




'Why on earth would you think it perverted?' [I was, I have to admit, quite shocked with regard to her statement]




"Well, why would you find them interesting"


Where do you begin with a question such as this? I could hardly explain my thoughts with regard to the visual dissonance created by the dolls when headless and unclothed, nor could I begin to offer the shopowner an explanation involving a surreal or dadaesque component. Describing the dolls as 'visually arresting' would also leave her baffled and would do little to resolve her confusion.


I suddenly realised she took me to be; at best, some kind of pervert, and at worst, a possible paedophile!


She was quite bewildered at the fact I had chosen to photograph her dolls, unclothed and headless, and could find no reasonable explanation, using her own life experiences or mental faculties, other than the regressive conclusion I wanted images of nude and headless dolls [the dolls are asexual and display no genitalia] for some bizarre sexual purpose. It quite simply 'did not compute' in any other way!


I was, at this point, wholly shocked and a little angered.


I explained to her that; to me, these dolls were asexual, displayed no defineable gender, were almost unrecognisable as representing children, were not in a setting that offered any 'erotic' possibilities whatsoever and were quite simply, 'interesting'. Lastly, I asked her if she could envisage anyone who could find a tiny headless mannequin 'sexually appealing'.


She replied with the oft quoted aphorism:


'You can't be too careful nowadays'.


After considering my statements, she seemed satisfied I was not a sexual predator of vile tendencies. I tried to offer supporting evidence by showing her my pictures taken that same morning; pictures of underground pipes, gratings, cats eyes, shipping containers, road markings, rusting chains, roadside fruit, litter, random signage and caravans.


I asked her if she would have photographed any of these things, or would think any of these things suitable as a photographic subject. She actually laughed. Then said 'No.'


There is an enormous gulf between those few people who wish to [or are driven to be, often at great personal cost], creative.


As the art critic and writer John Berger freely admits, the vast majority of people quite simply don't give a fuck about art [my paraphrasing], and have no need, nor see any point whatsoever, in 'creating' anything that could be seen as 'art'.


They are wholly uninterested in anything that may lead to a process of questioning. Or of any object or thing that may lead them to consider elements of their own lives, or the lives and lived experience of any other human being in a different or challenging way.


This has always interested me greatly. What drives one person to make art, and the next 10,000 people to be entirely ambivalent [and usually entirely hostile] to art of any kind?


I do not think there is a suitable answer. Yet. Though this question, and those that lead directly from it [questions regarding social control, peer pressure, witting ignorance, advertising, fanaticism and consumerism] still occupy far too much of my time.


I am, I have to admit, often perverse [and sometimes perverted], I am more than happy with this situation.


Paedophilia however, is an abhorrent and vile manifestation of my own gender [they are almost wholly male], and the males capability to behave with base and cunning disregard toward the vulnerable.


That the shopowner should have jumped to her 'knee jerk' conclusions regarding my photographic subject says a vast amount about the media, my gender, 'herd-think' and the time in which we live.


As I said goodbye, she actually smiled, then apologised.




[I do hope those who chose to read this did not find it boring]


NB - If my opinions strike you as in any way elitist, think on this, herd-think, mob behaviour and the moocow-humans innate fear of the 'different' have played a major part in releasing the vilest excesses of evil and sadism our species have ever witnessed. I need not name them.

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Taken on May 14, 2009