Locust Projects goes national this May, opening two solo exhibitions by Chicago-based artist Amber Hawk Swanson and Washington, DC-based artist Matthew Sutton. Amber Hawk Swanson commissioned the production of a life-like sex doll, a RealDoll, made of a posable PVC skeleton and silicone flesh, in her exact likeness. For her exhibition, "To Have, To Hold, and To Violate: Amber and Doll.”, together with Amber Doll, Hawk Swanson disrupts the social codes of ritualized spaces by inserting her sexually available silicone replica into wedding receptions, tailgating parties, sorority houses, and theme parks. Sutton appeals to a different set of sensory experiences in his exhibition, "Febreze Scentstories" that asks viewers to respond in writing to their experience of smelling each strangely named scent. These exhibitions each open at Locust Projects on Saturday, May 10, 7-11pm in conjunction with the Wynwood Art District Second Saturday gallery walk and close June 28, 2008.
Amber Hawk Swanson and Amber Doll will spend a month at the Fountainhead Residency in Miami shooting new photography and video work for the exhibition, "To Have, To Hold, and To Violate: Amber and Doll" at Locust Projects. Complicating the viewer's position of voyeur in each scene is the presence of Hawk Swanson’s romantic partnership with Amber Doll. The intimate relationship she maintains with her doll mirrors that of many male RealDoll owners' relationships to their female dolls. Hawk Swanson toys with notions of repulsion, desire and surrender through a combination of performance, video, and photography. Drawing upon the ceremonial aspects of gallery settings with a new site-specific installation, visitors are also invited to participate in the observance of Amber Doll’s untimely death in the tradition of funerary rituals for public figures..
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