The Dollhouse Diaries

Rae Staseson

1999, 07:11 minutes, colour, English


What if "home was only ever a series of representations and performances, no different from a playhouse?

This video is an exercise in the construction of memory. The Dollhouse Diaries suggests that one's relation to one's own past remains an ongoing act of the imagination. The tape includes images of objects from childhood, objects evocative of childhood, found footage and home movies, without reference to their origin. Most prominently, the camera investigates a tine dollhouse, presenting it in distorting and at times unsettling close-ups. The soundtrack is an alphabetical list of objects, people and texts, mixing popular and local culture. The list places the work in early 1970s Saskatchewan. The result is an inventory, as though memory is in part and itemisation of resonant references. The tape does not present an uncritical longing for an ideal period of life. Instead, a parallel emphasis upon the dollhouse and a trip to Disneyland proposes a connection between domesticity and theme parks. Consequently, the images transform the childhood home and our memories of it, into an artificial and miniaturized space.

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