Puppetry Heroes:

Mentors, Influences, Inspiration, + Legends

In 2015, I was nominated for Ronnie Burkett’s Puppetry Heroes: Mentors, Influences, Inspirations + Legends Challenge… And so began five days of writing on instagram and facebook about artists like Nancy Andrews, Paul Mc Carthy, JoJo Baby + Greer Lankton, Janie Geiser, and the style of puppetry known as kuroko.

Images from Nancy’s website: www.nancyandrews.net

Nancy Andrews

Nancy Andrews is the intersection of puppetry, fine arts, experimental film, and performance art. (More)

Images from REDCAT.org, Photography-Now.com, Artnet.com, Art21.org)

Paul McCarthy

In this abject exploration of bodily fluids, ketchup and fudge transcend into blood and feces. McCarthy examines the symbolic contagion of identity by having audience members dress in similar Pinocchio masks and costumes, blurring the line between witness and participant. (More)

(clockwise) Karl Peterson, Marsian De Lellis, Annie O’Neill/Mattress Factory, Chicago Reader

JoJo Baby
+ Greer Lankton

Lankton made meticulous elaborate dolls of varying body types and genders with exhibitions at the Mattress Factory and a piece in the 1995 Whitney Biennial. Jojo’s armatures included entire chakra systems comprised of precious stones and bodily artifacts. (More)

Images: courtesy Janie Geiser

Janie Geiser

I first met Janie Geiser at a puppet festival in Chicago where she performed a walk-through series of dioramas showing a woman fleeing domestic violence while being chased for a crime she didn’t commit. (More)

Images: YouTube – Scissor Sisters VEVO, YouTube – Mark Rowbotham Creative, Splash Magazine

Kuroko:
Nagi Noda / Basil Twist / Japanese Gameshow

I have seen limbs torn from bodies, sudden drastic shifts in perspective, hyper-flexibility, slow motion, and weightlessness. (More)