Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2014-15

(New York, NY)Amber Hawk Swanson

Project Description

Doll Closet will be the next in Amber Hawk Swanson’s series of durational building performances, which will invite conversations about the closet as a representation of secrecy for queerness and doll ownership, as well as the role of community in understanding self-identification. Doll Closet will be made possible by anonymous doll owner Jesse, who became a friend and collaborator to Hawk Swanson through their shared involvement in the silicone doll community. The performance will be inspired by the hidden room Jesse built in his home where he secretly kept his 1998 model RealDoll, Heather, for fifteen years before donating her body to be transformed and reassembled in Hawk Swanson’s 2013 performance Sidore (Mark II) / Heather > LOLITA. Over the seven consecutive days of Doll Closet, Hawk Swanson will build a replica of Heather’s room. Jesse will call in during select hours of each day to provide guidance and instruction. The pieces of Heather from LOLITA will also be present to witness the reconstruction.


Amber Hawk Swanson (b. 1980, Davenport, Iowa) is a video and performance artist living and working in New York City. Hawk Swanson’s work blurs the lines between victim and victimizer, care and punishment, self-love and self-objectification to examine the continually unresolved questions of contemporary feminism. She has exhibited internationally, including at Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France); Denny Gallery (New York, NY); and Locust Projects (Miami, FL). Her recent residencies include Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace (New York, NY); Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program (New York, NY); Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME); MacDowell (Peterborough, NH); and Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY). Her work is included in the permanent and MPP collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, where she holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2006).