Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Puppet Shows: Part II

Peering into the peephole of the polygonal structure, I see a two-story, Japanese-inspired house slowly turning. A woman walks by and goes behind the house. I quickly get over the awkward excitement of being a voyeur when a man walks by, stops to look around (Did he see me?), and continues behind the house.Here comes the woman again, and as the house turns to the front, she enters the bottom floor as the man passes by just missing her. While I am eager to find out if the two shall ever meet, I sense sadness in their blank expressions and their slow, heavy, rhythmical movements. One after the other, they pass by the peep hole only giving me a glimpse of their whole journey.

I become fascinated with the house: dried brush, rice paper and yes, rulers. A video of another man walking is projected onto the second floor of the house. The disjointed, but steady rhythm of all four, the house included, is calming, but I'm stilling waiting for them to- Oh! He saw me! I jump back from the peephole, my nerves slightly shaken, and I laugh at myself for actually thinking a puppet could actually see.

This unique structure was just one part of "The Reptile Under the Flowers", a multimedia puppet show, which, along with the unique "Le Petit Macabre" and the humorous "Matchbox Shows", was a part of "The Puppet Shows: Part II" accompanying "The Puppet Show" exhibit at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The exhibit is as eclectic as the shows, with rooms full of traditional puppets from around the world, mechanical dancing puppets à la Team America, and videos of various puppet shows, stop-motion animations and hand puppets. I enjoyed the children's furniture all dressed up, but the puppets watching the videos of puppets? Let's just say I didn't wait to see if one of them was going turn his head around. After satisfying my appetite for puppetry, I headed over to the other many galleries of Bergamot Station, but that's another story.

-Tiina Vuorenmaa, ExperienceLA Staff

For other great events at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, visit!

No comments: