Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the ostracized ghoul

Now that the sukkot have been dismantled all over Highland Park (and no, three years ago, I didn't have a clue what a sukkah was - Alice and I thought our neighbors were putting up sweet little outdoor bowers, until it dawned on us that this was a mass movement, and that some of them were far from decorative and involved unsightly expanses of blue plastic) - now that the sukkot are down, the Halloween decorations are going up in force.

This triad are skewered into the front lawn opposite, and are disturbingly anthropomorphic in their grouping. I can't decide whether the one on the right is planning malice because she's been left out, or has been ostracized because she's plain daft ("daft as a brush," was the expression that I was brought up with - and which seems to have a range of implausible explanations, including ones suggesting that inept Victorian child chimney sweeps would fall headlong down the chimney and land on their heads, causing lasting damage. This seems deeply implausible to me...). Photographs are particularly good at bringing out the latent humanity in dolls, mannequins, and other forms of inanimate figures (c.f. Cindy Sherman's mutilated plastic figures, or the dolls house figures of Laurie Simmons, especially in her early works - check out the "cowboys" series. Maybe I need to get the plastic horses out of the car again.

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