Little New Yorkers
Shoemakers & Ballerinas
Manhattan shop windows have had a continuing fascination for me, especially if the human form is incorporated into the scheme. I think of the windows as a kind of metaphor for the “real world”, reflecting the values and goals of society. But even beyond this, I find the photographs of these dumb figurines transforms them into enigmatic fetish items, or industrialized voodoo dolls. These mysterious, complex tableaux all have their own logic, and the camera may be a useful tool in helping to decipher it.
From the catalogue for the exhibition:
Canada/New York, 1984
49th Parallel – Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art, New York
Although I intend to leave the Description of this Empire to a particular Treatise, yet in the mean time I am content to gratify the curious reader with some general ideas. As the common size of the natives is somewhat under six inches, so there is an exact proportion in all other animals, as well as plants and trees. Nature hath both adapted the Eyes of the Lilliputians to all objects proper for their view: They see with great Exactness, but at no great Distance. And the show the Sharpness of their Sight towards Objects that are near, I have been much pleased with observing a Cook pulling a Lark, which was not so large as a common fly; and a young girl threading an invisible needle with invisible silk.
From Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, 1726