Talking to Amber Hawk Swanson

Question: Tell me about “The Amber Doll
In 2007, I commissioned the production of a life-like sex doll, a RealDoll, made of a possible PVC skeleton and silicone flesh, in my exact likeness. My doll, Amber Doll, began as a Styrofoam print-out of a digital scan of my head. Her face was then custom-sculpted and later combined with the doll manufacturer’s existing, “Body #8” female doll mold. After completing, “The Making-Of Amber Doll” and “Las Vegas Wedding Ceremony” (both 2007), Amber Doll and I went on to disrupt wedding receptions, roller-skating rinks, football tailgating parties, theme parks, and adult industry conventions. In the resulting series, “To Have, To Hold, and To Violate: Amber and Doll,” ideas surrounding agency and objectification are questioned, as are ideas about the success or failure of negotiating power through one’s own participation in a cultural narrative that declares women as objects. My work with Amber Doll, herself a literal object, deals with such themes through an oftentimes-complicated feminist lens. Similar concerns emerge in my series, “The Feminism? Project” (2006). The script for each video in the series was generated from interviews with women across the state of Iowa on the subject of feminism.
To Have, Roller rink, 2007
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