August 8, 2015

8/6/15 – Miniature Houses; Big Ideas

Artist: Carrie Morris

Location: Detroit Institute of Bagels; Historic Trinity Lutheran Church


CM – Nothing; she had eaten breakfast and lunch at a normal time, like a normal human being

SRS – #9 Turkey, Bacon & Avocado, with smoked Gouda, lettuce, spicy mayo, on a toasted salt bagel, San Pellegrino Limonatta

I was so excited when Carrie Morris got in touch with me, asking if I wanted to meet up and check out the Eberhard Room at Historic Trinity Lutheran Church. Why? Because the Eberhard Room is the collection of dollhouses that the Rev. Dr. David Eberhard constructed as hobby. And my non-ironic love of miniatures is slowly transitioning from a dirty secret to common knowledge, at this point.


There’s actually a lot of crossover between miniaturists, like myself, and puppeteers, like Carrie. In short: we are all control freaks. But while miniaturists seek to control environments more generally, puppeteers are actually getting all the way down into behavioral control, of these little surrogate figures. Which is funny, because most puppeteers I have known, Carrie included, seem like very laid back people. I guess if you have a whole stable of characters underneath your absolute control, you can afford to be a little less stringent about your personal relationships. As a a miniaturists, I tend to be more object oriented–I largely eschew dolls altogether–but RDD Eberhard is another story. His houses contain, to my eye, almost no original elements, but are more collections of miniatures and figurines, grouped together in broad strokes that create decent illusions, in some cases, and verge more in the direction of Magical Realism, in others.

Carrie and I talked a bit about Magical Realism, as well. She was trying to generate a reading list on the subject, and we both collaborated on a working definition of the term WITHOUT use of smartphones. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, because it was a concept I always associated strictly with literature, but more and more these days I encounter art that really takes me to Magical Realism place. And I’ve been corresponding a bit with dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker, Pontus Lidberg–whose show I saw in New York this summer, and reviewed for Hyperallergic–and who has done some incredible thinking around Magical Realism as related to dance–which makes a ton of sense, when you think about the capacity of dance to foreground emotional reality as the prevailing reality.

So more on that, for sure.

And you can check out Carrie’s style at an upcoming CMAP show: Friday, August 21, 7:30pm – music from Bebop, a puppet musical satire featuring figures from jazz history

Performing an original score by eleven-time Detroit Music Award winner and jazz composer Scott Gwinnell, this puppet musical is a fictional story about Charlie Parker’s ascent into jazz history and the trials he overcomes to get there, including his interactions with figures like Louie Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Tatum, Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Benny Goodman.

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