Puppets & Maquettes

See also: [Performance Art] (main page) [Street Art] [T.A.Z.] (Association for Ontological Anarchy) (Hakim Bey, chief janitor)

Puppets & Maquettes

On this page: {General Notes} {Story}


To a certain extent animation has ursupred the role previously held by puppetry, but there is a certain physicallity that should not be ignored. Puppets & Maquettes present both dynamic and static possiblities. In the static form, they are presented without action, simply layed over or next to other work or in a space without a person manipulating them. Note with modern animation and robotics, puppets can now be animated; eg, animatronics (Disney), as well as articulated masks, etc used in SFX. Puppets come in (at least three) varieties: The traditional over-the-hand puppet, the marionette (using string/wire to effect movement); qv: Baird. And of course Jim Henson's brilliant addition to the field: Muppets; using sticks as well as over-the-hand techniques. Maquettes (in their simplest form) are simply pose-able dolls, or articulated frames as might be used in sculpture. Maquettes can be any object (from a Dadaist POV); eg, a plastric drink bottle, a pair of eye glasses, or one of the most famous of maquette/dolls: Mr. Potatoe Head.


The essential element in performance work (the normal, dynaic mode of puppetry) is the story. This combined with the developed character of the puppet give for a wide variety of art works, as well as simple performance. One of the most memorable of puppet squences was that by Baird in "The Sound of Music" and one of the most memorable characters of all time is that of Jim Henson's alter ego, Kermit the Frog. In one episode of Sesame Street, one of the live actors had a live frog (I think it was Bob Grath ??sp??, the live actor, not the live frog). And Kermit was there: Bob: And so here we have a live frog. So do you know what frogs like to eat? Kermit: And how! Pancakes! And of course hot dogs! And... Bob: No, they like to eat flies. Kermit (taken aback) Flies!!!? Yech! The lesson of the importance development of character and story is often over-looked in other areas of enteratainment/art.