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The Quay BrothersInto a Metaphysical Playroom$
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Suzanne Buchan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816646586

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816646586.001.0001

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Puppets and Metaphysical Machines

Puppets and Metaphysical Machines

Chapter:
(p.100) (p.101) 4. Puppets and Metaphysical Machines
Source:
The Quay Brothers
Author(s):

Suzanne Buchan

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816646586.003.0004

This chapter examines how the Quay Brothers’ puppets and inanimate objects affect the viewers’ experiences. Puppets are empty vessels often modeled on human likeness. The Quay Brothers imaginatively modified these puppets to make them appear alive. This modification begins with giving the puppet an illusionary ability to move, followed by the combination of musical scoring and the showcase of various textures on-screen. They initially used a human-sized figure as their puppet in Nocturna Artificialia; however, it was a failure. They then opted to use objets trouves or old objects, such as “marionettes” as their inspiration for their puppets. This chapter also reviews how the Quay Brothers’ marionette-inspired puppets portrayed the puppets’ animism and vitalism, referring to the philosophical views of Arthur Schopenhauer.

Keywords:   puppets, inanimate objects, human likeness, Nocturna Artificialia, objets trouves, marionettes, Arthur Schopenhauer

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