ANGIE JENNINGS
video documentation
Drawing Dolls, Your Favorite Doll!
May 9, 2015, 4 hour duration. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA. Documentation by Lyndsay Bloom

Drawing Dolls, Your Favorite Doll! was a performance intervention that took place at the Mingei International Museum. The gesture of becoming a black doll was created in response to the exhibition Black Dolls, a collection of over 100 hand-made American black dolls from the early 1900’s owned by Deborah J. Neff, a white collector form Connecticut. In response to the problematic and violent histories attached to the dolls including histories of slavery in the United States and long standing racist views of African Americans that were ignored by the museums curatorial staff I took it upon myself to transform into a living doll, similar to the gesture of a minstrel. As a living black doll I was able to bring overlooked histories to the forefront.

Throughout the 4-hour duration I asked visitors to write letters to their favorite doll, patrolled the dolls within the collection with a neon battery operated baton, played Jenga, worked on a puzzle of the United States of America, and danced to music including a patriotic John Wayne tape entitled America, Why I Love Her along with disco tracks from the original motion picture soundtrack of Thank God It’s Friday. I also got to introduce my own two dolls to those displayed in the collection.