Amber Hawk Swanson
In 2007, I commissioned the production of a life-like sex doll, a RealDoll, made of a PVC skeleton and silicone flesh, in my exact likeness. My doll, Amber Doll, began as a printout of a digital scan of my head. Her face was then custom-sculpted and later combined with the existing, "Body #8" doll mold. Amber Doll and I went on to disrupt wedding receptions, skating rinks, and tailgating parties. Ideas surrounding agency and objectification are questioned in the work, 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 series with Amber Doll, herself a literal object, deals with such themes through an oftentimes-complicated feminist lens. Similar concerns emerge in "The Feminism? Project" (2006). The script for each video was generated from interviews with women on the subject of feminism.
Amber Hawk Swanson (b. 1980 Davenport, Iowa) lives and works in Brooklyn. Recent exhibitions include Locust Projects (Miami), MonkeyTown (Brooklyn) Georgia State University (Atlanta), Rosslyn Cultural Center (Virginia), Non Grata Art Container (Estonia), and The Redhouse (Syracuse). Recent residencies include Fountainhead (Miami) and Vermont Studio Center (on scholarship). Her work is included in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago) and has been reviewed and featured in Map Magazine, Sex TV, The Associated Press, Time Out Chicago, and Flavorpill. Hawk Swanson holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and two BFAs from Iowa State University. Notable projects include "The Feminism? Project" (2006) and “Amber Doll” (2006-2008).
More information: http://www.losingyourself.com/amber-hawk-swanson-2/