Artists' Statement: Childish Things

Those who have managed to save a favorite toy from childhood are aware that a kewpie doll, a teddy bear, or a plastic soldier can be a prodigious storehouse of fond memories.

Just as cherished toys recall the joys and warmth of a happy childhood, so lost and abandoned toys retain repressed memories of prepubescent trauma and the deep-seated guilt associated with the playing of forbidden games.

While abandoned toys are rejected outright, lost toys represent something evicted from consciousness as in a Freudian slip. Either way, the result is the same: the contents of the childish unconscious at large in the world. As found in parking lots, on sidewalks, or in thrift stores, these toys lack meaningful context and purpose - a situation we attempt to correct.

For the series, Childish Things, we stage mini-psychodramas on miniature sets with the toys portraying the conflicted children who left them behind. We then photograph the resulting tableaus with a shallow focus that suggests the bleary selectivity of memory. By these means, we hope to achieve for the conflicted, former toy-owners a measure of catharsis by proxy.